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Economic value of provisioning services and livelihood dependence on the Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa

IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
6. Water Conservation and Demand Management
Author(s): Olalekan Adekola
Sylvie Morardet
Frederic Grelot
Rudolf de Groot
1) Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen UR, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands 2) International Water Management Institute, Southern Africa office, Private Bag X813 Silverton 0127, Pretoria, South Africa and Cemagref UMR G-EAU,

Keyword(s): economic valuation, livelihood analysis, market valuation, provisioning services, wetland ecosystem

AbstractThe size of the Ga-Mampa wetland (1 km2), in the Olifants river catchment in South Africa, was halved between 1996 and 2004. This jeopardizes the ecological integrity and influences the benefits people obtain from the wetland. This study therefore analysed the economic values of the provisioning services derived from the Ga-Mampa wetland and evaluated their contribution to the livelihood of local stakeholders. Using a direct market valuation technique and based on a mix of data collection approaches that include questionnaire survey, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, field observation and measurements and collection of market prices, we estimated the economic value of the main provisioning services provided by the wetland (collection of edible plants, crop production, livestock grazing, reeds and sedge collection). The results show that the contribution of the wetland to the livelihood of local community estimated at an annual net financial value of $411 per household far exceeds its annual cash income of $35 per household and is of the magnitude of the average monthly cash income from all sources. Most of the materials harvested from the wetland are used for household subsistence and are rarely sold. The wetland services are also essential to sustain the social and cultural responsibilities in gift giving to neighbours and relatives. The study concludes that the local people are highly dependent on the wetland ecosystem services but that current use levels exceed sustainability levels, which jeopardizes the future livelihood of the local people. We therefore recommend that the local stakeholders be supported in identifying alternative sources of livelihood while simultaneously developing sustainable management strategies for small wetlands such as Ga-Mampa. In addition, other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting) provided by the wetland to local and downstream stakeholders need to be further studied and economically assessed.
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