Engage local people in management/monitoring of marshes or swamps

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • Two studies evaluated the effects, on vegetation or human behaviour, of engaging local people in management/monitoring of marshes or swamps. One study was in Senegal and one was in India.


  • Overall extent (1 study): One before-and-after study of a coastal wetland in India reported that after implementing a community-based restoration programme, the area of high-quality mangrove forest increased. Meanwhile, the area of degraded mangrove forest decreased.






  • Human behaviour (1 study): One before-and-after study of a wetland National Park in Senegal reported that after switching from authoritarian protection to community-based management, fewer fines were issued for illegal activities (including illegal settlement and uncontrolled grazing).

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. 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
  2. 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
Please cite as:

Taylor N.G., Grillas P., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Marsh and Swamp Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions to Conserve Marsh and Swamp Vegetation. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Marsh and Swamp Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Marsh and Swamp Conservation
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Marsh and Swamp Conservation - Published 2021

Marsh and Swamp Synopsis

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