Integrated Wetland Assessment

Strengthening pro-poor wetland conservation using integrated biodiversity and livelihoods assessments

In April 2005 we received the exciting news that the UK Darwin Initiative had agreed to fund this project, which was undertaken in partnership with IUCN offices in Sri Lanka (Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group), Viet Nam, Cambodia and Tanzania, the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARO), and the University of East Anglia (Overseas Development Group). The project was completed in March 2009.

The project developed a Toolkit of methodologies to assess biodiversity and the value of wetland biodiversity to livelihoods, particularly of the poorest, and to find ways to clearly present this information to decision-makers. The methodologies will be integrated, incorporating biodiversity, economics and livelihoods approaches. The Toolkit documents how these methodologies have been put into practice through assessments in Stung Treng Ramsar Site, Lower Mekong, Cambodia and in Mtanza-Msona Village, Rufiji floodplain, Tanzania.

Following initial scoping exercises to generate broad basic data, capacity and awareness on wetland values within the focal regions, fieldwork at the two assessment sites was undertaken, and integrated reports on the livelihood, biodiversity and economic values of the areas disseminated. The assessments have yielded detailed scientific and management information, including GIS maps and databases which document key values and overlaps between threatened species and areas of high human dependence.

Information obtained though the assessments has already fed into the site management plan for the Stung Treng Ramsar site, supporting pro-poor wetland conservation and sustainable use to the benefit of local livelihoods and biodiversity.

This project was funded by the UK Darwin Initiative, and led by IUCN and UEA ODG. Project partners include the IUCN Cambodia Liaison Office and IUCN Country Group 1 (southeast Asia) office, IUCN Tanzania and the IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office.

  • Background: The links between biodiversity, economic values and livelihoods
  • Demonstration sites
  • The Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit
  • The Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit Discussion Board
  • Project donors and Partners

 

Background: The links between biodiversity, economic values and livelihoods

Humans depend on animals and plants for food, clean water for drinking, wood or fossil fuels to cook and keep warm, and materials for building and making products such as clothes. The supply of most of these necessities is provided or influenced by biodiversity (both past and present), be it as insects pollinating crops, as forests providing wood or as bacterial films purifying water. Therefore biodiversity has value to humans, supporting people’s livelihoods in numerous ways.

Understanding and quantifying this value is important, because human activities often result in the loss of biodiversity e.g. when dams are built for hydro-electric energy. The value that the biodiversity contributed and the people whose livelihoods were reduced or lost are often forgotten. Decision-makers need to consider both the benefits and costs of such projects, taking into account those whose livelihoods will suffer.

This project will develop methods to provide this information to decision-makers, by documenting the links between biodiversity and livelihoods in wetlands. Wetland communities are often highly dependent on biodiversity because activities such as fishing provide essential food and income. Such communities are also particularly vulnerable to factors outside their control, as activities far upstream or downstream can affect fish populations and flooding regimes.

Demonstration sites

Funded by the UK governments’ Darwin Initiative, the Strengthening pro-poor wetland conservation using integrated biodiversity and livelihood assessment project developed the Toolkit through case study assessments at Mtanza-Msona Village in Tanzania and in the Stung Treng Ramsar Site in Cambodia.

New version

An Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit

Strengthening Pro-Poor Wetland Conservation Using Integrated Biodiversity and Livelihood Assessment

Developed through the demonstration sites in Cambodia and Tanzania, the new publication, An Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit: A guide to good practice, is available as a PDF download, or a paper copy can be requested from IUCN's Freshwater Biodiversity Unit.

Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit Discussion Board

This page is for users and reviewers of the IUCN/UEA Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit (IWAT) to post their comments and feedback.

The authors of the toolkit would really appreciate hearing from you if you have tried using the toolkit.

Click HERE to join the Integrated Wetland Assessment Toolkit Discussion Board.

 

Darwin Initiative logo

Project Donor

Darwin Initiative

The Strengthening Pro-Poor Wetland Conservation Using Integrated Biodiversity and Livelihood Assessment project was carried out with financial support from the Darwin Initiative of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

ODG logo

Project partners

Overseas Development Group

University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

 

The project also worked closely with the IUCN Cambodia Liaison Office, the IUCN Tanzania Country Office, the IUCN Country Group 1 Regional Office (Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam), and the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office.

CONTRIBUTE FEEDBACK ON THE IWA TOOLKIT
  • Fish market, Stung Treng town

    Fish market, Stung Treng town

    Photo: IUCN / William Darwall

Download the individual IWA Toolkit chapters
IWA Toolkit contents and introduction
IWA Toolkit Chapter 1
IWA Toolkit Chapter 2
IWA Toolkit Chapter 3
IWA Toolkit Chapter 4
IWA Toolkit Chapter 5
IWA Toolkit Chapter 6
IWA Toolkit Chapter 7
IWA Toolkit Chapter 8
IWA Toolkit Appendix
IWA Toolkit References