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Institutions and Ecosystem-Based Development Potentials of the Elephant Marsh, Malawi
The Polytechnic, Department of Physics and Biochemical Sciences, University of Malawi, Private Bag 303, Blantyre 3, Malawi
Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9518, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands
Institute for Science and Innovation Studies, Faculty of Science, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9010, 6500 GL, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Economics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 280, Zomba, Malawi
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 October 2012; in revised form: 20 November 2012 / Accepted: 21 November 2012 / Published: 7 December 2012
Abstract: The Elephant Marsh, a wetland in Southern Malawi, is important for fishing, agriculture, hunting and the collection of natural resources for the livelihoods of local communities. However, there has been increasing pressure driven by a changing climate, population growth, rural poverty and agricultural conversion, all of which threaten the future of the wetland. Currently, Malawi does not have either a national wetland policy or a climate change policy and wetland issues are only marginally present in the National Parks and Wildlife Policy of 2000 and National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy of 2001. As a result, the country lacks a framework that could be strong enough to achieve balanced and sustainable wetland management for multiple resource users. The objective of this study was to establish the development potentials of Elephant Marsh from an ecosystem-based (‘working-with-nature’) perspective. It was revealed that there are development potentials in fisheries, recession agriculture, biomass for energy, conservation and tourism. This paper emphasizes that as these opportunities are developed, there will be the need to strengthen management institutions at local and national levels, and the coordination between the two.
Keywords: Elephant Marsh; wetland; Malawi; local institutions; ecosystem-based management; livelihoods; co-management
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Kosamu, I.B.M.; de Groot, W.T.; Kambewa, P.S.; de Snoo, G.R. Institutions and Ecosystem-Based Development Potentials of the Elephant Marsh, Malawi. Sustainability 2012, 4, 3326-3345.
Kosamu IBM, de Groot WT, Kambewa PS, de Snoo GR. Institutions and Ecosystem-Based Development Potentials of the Elephant Marsh, Malawi. Sustainability. 2012; 4(12):3326-3345.
Kosamu, Ishmael B.M.; de Groot, Wouter T.; Kambewa, Patrick S.; de Snoo, Geert R. 2012. "Institutions and Ecosystem-Based Development Potentials of the Elephant Marsh, Malawi." Sustainability 4, no. 12: 3326-3345.