Engage local people in management/monitoring of marshes or swamps
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 2
Background information and definitions
Local people may be engaged in a range of marsh and swamp conservation projects, from designing management plans, to carrying out practical management and even monitoring as citizen scientists. Local people may be fundamentally integrated into management (“community-based conservation”) or participate occasionally. They may be volunteers or employees. Projects that actively engage local people could increase awareness of marshes and swamps and their value, increase awareness of rules and regulations, change perceptions, and create a sense of ownership (Danielsen et al. 2003; Evely et al. 2011; Mombo et al. 2013). Local knowledge may also enhance the success of conservation actions.
To be clear, studies would be summarized as evidence for this action if the management or monitoring is substantially related to marshes and swamps, even if it involves other wetland habitats (e.g. peatlands), aquatic habitats (e.g. rivers and lakes) or upland habitats (e.g. forests). The effects of specific interventions carried out by local people are considered elsewhere on this site.
Related actions: Raise public awareness about marshes or swamps.
Danielsen F., Mendoza M.M., Alviola P., Balete D.S., Enghoff M., Poulsen M.K. & Jensen A.E. (2003) Biodiversity monitoring in developing countries: what are we trying to achieve? Oryx, 37, 407–409.
Evely A.C., Pinard M., Reed M.S. & Fazey L. (2011) High levels of participation in conservation projects enhance learning. Conservation Letters, 4, 116–126.
Mombo F., Speelman S., Hella J. & Van Huylenbroeck G. (2013) How characteristics of wetlands resource users and associated institutions influence the sustainable management of wetlands in Tanzania. Land Use Policy, 35, 8–15.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 1990–1997 of a wetland protected area in Senegal (Matar Diouf 2002) reported that after switching from authoritarian control to community-based management, the number of fines for illegal activity dropped to zero. Over three years under authoritarian control, 44 fines were issued for illegal settlement, uncontrolled livestock, fishing and hunting. Over four years under community-based management, no fines were issued. Methods: The study site, Djoudj National Park, is in the delta of the River Senegal. It contains patches of emergent vegetation such as reedbeds interspersed with lakes, pools, channels and upland areas. Until 1994, the National Park was strictly protected with “authoritarian measures” excluding local people. From 1994, with a deliberate policy shift, the local population became partners in National Park management (including investments and education).Study and other actions tested
Referenced paperMatar Diouf A. (2002) Djoudj National Park and its periphery: an experiment in wetland comanagement. In: Gawler, M. (ed.) Strategies for the wise use of Wetlands: Best Practices in Participatory Management. Proceedings of a workshop held at the 2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development (November 1998, Dakar, Senegal). Wetlands International/IUCN/WWF report, 56, 13.
A before-and-after study in 1986–2002 of a coastal wetland in southern India (Selvam et al. 2003) reported that following a community-based restoration programme, the area of mangrove forest increased. Before intervention, the site contained only 325 ha of mangrove forest (all mature) and 375 ha of degraded mangrove. Approximately six years after intervention began, the site contained 618 ha of mangrove forest (411 ha mature; 297 ha developing) and only 65 ha of degraded mangrove. Methods: Large scale restoration of a degraded mangrove forest began in 1996. The local community was involved in identifying the cause of degradation, planning and implementing restoration activities (excavating tidal channels and planting mangrove seedlings) and long-term management of the site (e.g. de-silting tidal channels, protecting young trees from herbivores). The area covered by mangrove vegetation was measured from satellite images, and verified with field surveys, before intervention (1982) and approximately six years after it began (2002).Study and other actions tested