Provide education/training programmes about marshes or swamps
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 2
Background information and definitions
This action involves education programmes, training courses or workshops, aimed at people who directly use, manage or influence marshes and swamps (e.g. managers, farmers in the catchment, local people). Education or training may be about these habitats in general (e.g. their wildlife, their value to humans) or about management techniques (including sustainable water use and land use practices). It may aim to increase the income of local people using marshes or swamps, in order to sustain their livelihoods without intensification or expansion of environmentally damaging activities (but consider that higher incomes could also encourage expansion of activities, as in farmed dambos in Malawi/Zambia; Wetlands International 2009). Education or training may be specifically about vegetation, or about broader aspects of marsh or swamp habitats.
To be clear, studies would be summarized as evidence for this action if the education or training programmes are substantially related to marshes and swamps, even if they involves other wetland habitats (e.g. peatlands), aquatic habitats (e.g. rivers and lakes) or upland habitats (e.g. forests).
Related actions: Designate protected area involving marshes or swamps, which may be supported by education or training; Pay stakeholders to protect marshes or swamps, which may involve education or training; Raise public awareness about marshes or swamps, other than with formal education or training.
Wetlands International (2009) Planting Trees to Eat Fish: Field Experiences in Wetlands and Poverty Reduction. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2006–2007 in Kenya (Macharia et al. 2010) reported that following a series of seminars and workshops on marsh conservation, two community-based management groups were established and a grazing fee was introduced. The Ondiri Water Resource Users Association aimed to develop an integrated management plan, and controlled water abstraction. The Manugo Ecotourism and Conservation Group aimed to oversee the creation of bylaws to guide sustainable management, and secured funding for conservation activities. A grazing fee was also introduced for the Manugo wetland to control overgrazing, with the proceeds used to fence critical areas and employ a caretaker. Methods: Seminars and workshops were held with communities around the Ondiri and Manugo marshes. Seminars allowed dissemination of information about the state of the marshes. Workshops allowed stakeholders to exchange ideas and experiences, identify key threats, and discuss sustainable management. Participants included community members, researchers, resource managers and government ministers.Study and other actions tested
A before-and-after study in 2004–2007 in southern Vietnam (Triet 2010) reported that training locals to make fine handicraft products from marsh plants, along with helping them to sell products in tourist markets, increased their income. Statistical significance was not assessed. Before intervention, the average income of people making products from grey sedge Lepironia articulata was 8,000–10,000 VND/day. Mat-makers earned around 5,000 VND/day. After running the training and marketing scheme for three years, the average income had doubled (data not reported). Mat-makers now earned 30,000 VND/day. Handbag-makers now earned 50,000 VND/day. The study also reported a reduction in human disturbance and encroachment during the scheme, but this was not quantified. Methods: Between 2004 and 2007, the Phu My project aimed to facilitate sustainable use of the Ha Tien marshes by training locals to make fine handicraft products and helping them to sell for higher prices (e.g. in tourist markets). It was hoped that higher quality products (requiring fewer raw materials) and higher incomes (from selling in tourist areas) would reduce harvesting pressure and pressure to convert the marshes to other land uses. The study does not distinguish between the effects of training and marketing. It also does not report further details of the training, marketing or income estimation.Study and other actions tested