2月2日nd 是世界湿地日. 在这里,地理老师 艾伦•迪克逊博士 tells us about the importance of wetl和s 和 how recent research in Malawi is developing new ways of sustaining their benefits for future generations… 

湿地为九点彩票下载做过什么? 

湿地是一个被水淹没的生态系统. 该地区可能会被永久淹没或季节性洪水. Throughout history wetl和s have received a bad press due to their association with diseases such as malaria, 霍乱或血吸虫病. This has often been used as a rationale for their drainage 和 conversion to sites better suited to industrialisation, 农业与经济发展.

湿地博客1

Recent estimates suggest that around 60% of the world’s wetl和 have been lost since 1900, 和 in response to these losses many global conservation organisations have worked diligently over the last 50 years to protect wetl和s 和 their rich biodiversity.

在过去的二十年里, 然而, debates about wetl和s have moved beyond the rather polarised thinking that pits people 和 society against nature 和 the environment, 和 towards greater recognition that wetl和s can sustain multiple societal 和 environmental benefits that support each other.

Many wetl和 academics 和 policy-makers have drawn on the concept of ‘ecosystem services’ to showcase how wetl和s can regulate climate 和 hydrological (water) systems, 减少洪水, 碳储存, 和提供食物, 为人民提供水和文化服务. Developing ways of managing wetl和s that balance these ecosystem services is increasingly seen as key to delivering sustainable development 和 a win-win outcome for both people 和 the environment.

非洲的人类和湿地面临巨大挑战

 

马拉维的湿地农业
马拉维的湿地农业

这种需求在非洲最为迫切, w在这里 wetl和s account for around 16 per cent of the continent’s total area 和 have, 了几千年, 直接支持边缘地区贫困人口的生计.

While evidence suggests that in many parts of Africa wetl和s have been used sustainably by people for generations, 近年来,湿地面临的压力显著增加. This is largely as a result of inappropriate government policies that have failed to recognise their multiple benefits, 但也由于人口压力和环境变化.

The effects of climate change are already being felt by the poor 和 vulnerable across sub-Saharan Africa, 和 in the coming years it is likely that wetl和s will assume an even greater importance for people 和 environmental systems. 不采取行动应对这些日益增长的压力, the loss of wetl和 ecosystem services could spell disaster for those whose livelihoods depend on them.    

 

九点彩票下载能做些什么?

一位名叫Temwa的女士端着一盘水果站在路边
Temwa is one of many farmers working with us on sustainable wetl和 management.

Here at the 九点彩票下载 we have been working closely with local communities 和 non-governmental organisations in several sub-Saharan African countries to explore how wetl和s can be managed in a sustainable manner for the future.  Our focus has been on local people themselves 和 underst和ing how local 知识 和 community-based grassroots organisations can be enhanced to build positive adjustments (called "adaptive capacity") in wetl和 management. 这确保了社区能够恢复和自给自足, 不依赖外部援助来满足他们的生计需求.

In our recent three-year study of the Kankhulukulu catchment in northern Malawi we worked with a group of 20 farmers to find out how they used wetl和s but also, 批判性的, 他们想如何改善未来以湿地为基础的生计. 在其他方面, we found that farmers understood the linkages between different wetl和 ecosystem services, 湿地和集水区敏感资源利用的必要性. 考虑到这一点, we supported farmers in developing 和 implementing environmentally friendly agriculture techniques 和 soil 和 water conservation measures. 九点彩票下载还帮助农民建立了自己的监测系统, 社区的条例, 银行的一个村庄, 和 a 知识-sharing scheme that facilitated visits to other wetl和 communities.

By the end of the project most of the farmers taking part felt they had significantly enhanced their livelihoods through the acquisition of skills, 知识, 更广泛的社交网络和金融, 这使得他们有了更多的食物和收入, as well as becoming more resilient to social 和 environmental shocks 和 pressures. This was all achieved without any negative environmental impact or loss of wetl和 ecosystem services.  It was also achieved through the actions of farmers themselves; our role was merely to bring people together 和 facilitate this process.   

 

This approach to wetl和s 和 their management isn’t really rocket science; rather it combines 和 applies ideas, concepts 和 知识 from a range of different disciplines 和 field practice. 基于社区的自然资源管理, 参与式行动研究和可持续生计方法, 例如, 多年来一直是国际发展的支柱. The concepts of the two forms of environmental planning: catchment management 和 integrated watershed management date back to the 1980s. 然而,, 似乎在湿地管理领域本身, divided ideas have hindered the emergence of more holistic ways of thinking about 和 managing wetl和s. 九点彩票下载得向前看了. 九点彩票下载面临的全球环境挑战日益复杂, 非线性和相互联系的, 和 they dem和 inter- 和 transdisciplinary solutions that consider environment-society inter-relationships at different scales with multiple stakeholders.  正如九点彩票下载的研究显示的那样, 尽管规模很小, 这条路线为实现可持续发展提供了巨大潜力.  

If you’d like to read more about our recent wetl和s research in northern Malawi click 在这里. 

艾伦•迪克逊博士 是地理学的首席讲师,教九点彩票下载的 二元同步通信地理人文地理学士课程. 艾伦每年都会带地理专业的学生去两周的宿舍 马拉维领域课程 w在这里 they have the opportunity to talk to farmers 和 learn first-h和 about wetl和s 和 livelihoods.