Are the Most Valuable Resources in Dryland Areas Isolated Wetlands?

Joost Brouwer

Abstract


In dryland regions wetlands stand out as areas where water and nutrients accumulate, plant and animal production potential is high, and production risk is low.  Wetlands are therefore much sought after in dryland regions, by farmers, pastoralists, fishermen, collectors of natural products, and also wildlife.  Economic data from reports on some of the 1,000 isolated wetlands in Niger, presented here, demonstrate this importance to people living at the isolated wetlands as well to people living farther away.  The importance of the isolated wetlands is even greater in times of drought.  At the same time the isolated wetlands are under threat of disappearing because of increasing human pressure, climate change, land use change in their catchments, etc..  Descriptions of selected wetlands in Niger visited in the mid-1990s and again twelve years later show this, too.  Integrated participatory management of wetlands in dryland regions must be effectuated as soon as possible, so that these very important natural resources will be used wisely and sustainably, and not used up.  The UNCCD should put this high on its list of priorities.


Keywords


isolated wetlands; Sahel; economic value; ecosystem services; threatened ecosystems; participatory integrated natural resource management.

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Breman, H. (1992): Desertification control, the West African case; prevention is better than cure. Biotropica, 24(2b): 328-334.

Brouwer, J. (2009): The seasonal role of isolated wetlands in the Sahel: key resources for people and biodiversity, under pressure from global change. Paper presented at ‘Seasonality Revisited’, an International Conference organised by the Future Agricultures consortium at the Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK, 8–10 July, 2009. http://www.future-agricultures.org/workshop-resources/cat_view/1526-seasonality-revisited/1529-background-report-and-papers (1 July 2013)

Brouwer, J. (2010): Climate Change in Dryland and Wetland Ecosystems in the Sahel Region. in: Andrade Pérez, A., Herrera Fernandez, B., Cazzolla Gatti, R. (eds.), Building Resilience to Climate Change: Ecosystem-based adaptation and lessons from the field, 32-45, Gland: IUCN. http://www.iucn.org/knowledge/publications_doc/publications/?6297/Building-resilience-to-climate-change--ecosystem-based-adaptation-and-lessons-from-the-field (1 July 2013)

Brouwer, J. (2013): Are the most valuable resources in dryland areas isolated wetlands? Paper presented at the Second Scientific Conference of the UN Convention on Combatting Desertification, Bonn, Germany, 9-12 April 2013. https://www.conftool.pro/2sc-unccd/index.php?page=browseSessions&search=brouwer (1 July 2013)

Brouwer, J. and Mullié, W.C (1994a): Potentialités pour l'agriculture, l'élevage, la pêche, la collecte des produits naturels et la chasse dans les zones humides du Niger, in : Kristensen, P. (ed.), Atelier sur les zones humides du Niger. Proceedings of a workshop, 2-5 November 1994, La Tapoa/Parc du W, Niger, 27-51, Niamey, Niger: IUCN-Niger.

Brouwer, J. and Mullié, W.C. (1994b): The importance of small wetlands in the central Sahel. IUCN Wetlands Programme Newsletter, 9: 12-13.

Brouwer, J. and Mullié, W.C. (2001): A method for making whole country waterbird population estimates, applied to annual waterbird census data from Niger. Ostrich, Supplement No. 15: 73-82.

Brouwer, J. and Ouattara, M. (1995): Interactions between wetlands and surrounding drylands in the Sahel: a key to sustainable use. Paper presented at the meeting of IUCN's SAWEG (Sahelian Wetlands Expert Group), Dakar, Senegal, 21-24 May 1995.

Brouwer, J., Codjo, S.F. and Mullié, W.C. (2001): Niger, in: Fishpool, L.C.D., Evans M.E. (eds), Important Bird Areas of Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation., BirdLife International Conservation Series no. 10, 661-672, Cambridge and Newbury, UK: BirdLife International and Pisces..

Cheferou Mahatan (1994): Etude de la filière des cultures de contre-saison, zone du PMI. SNV-Netherlands Organisation for Development Aid, Projet Mares Illela, Niamey, Niger.

Claude, J., Grouzis, M. and Milleville, P. (1991) : Un espace sahélien: la mare d'Oursi, Burkina Faso, Paris : Editions ORSTOM..

Cooper, A., Shine, T., McCanna, T. and Tidane, D.A. (2006). An ecological basis for sustainable land use of Eastern Mauritanian wetlands. J. Arid Envir., 67: 116–141.

de Beaufort, F., Czajkowski, A.-M. (1986). Zones humides d’Afrique septentrionale, Centrale et Occidentale. II Inventaire préliminaire et méthodologie. Inventaires de Faune et de Flore, Fascicule 35, Paris: Conseil International de la Chasse et de la Conservation du Gibier, Sécretariat de la Faune et de la Flore, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturel.

Dugan, P.J. (ed.) (1990): Conservation de zones humides, Gland: IUCN.

Fishpool, L.C.D., Evans, M.E. (eds) (2001): Important Bird Areas of Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation, BirdLife International Conservation Series no. 10, Cambridge and Newbury, UK: BirdLife International and Pisces.. 1144 pp

Framine, N. (1994): Pisciculture des zones humides: compatabilité, exploitation et conservation, in: Kristensen, P. (ed.), Atelier sur les zones humides du Niger. Proceedings of a workshop, 2-5 November 1994, La Tapoa/Parc du W, Niger, 17-26, Niamey, Niger: IUCN-Niger.

Giraudoux, P., Degauquier, R., Jones, P.J., Weigel, J. and Isenmann, P. (1988). Avifaune du Niger: état des connaissances en 1986. Malimbus, 10: 1–140.

Hollis, G.E., Adams, W.M. and Aminu-Kano, M. (eds) (1993): The Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands. Environment, economy and sustainable development of a Sahelian floodplain wetland. Gland and Cambridge: IUCN..

Kouokam, R. (1994): Application de la méthode accélérée de recherche participative "MARP" dans la zone pilote du Projet Waza-Logone (Province de l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun. Paper prepared for the IUCN Workshop on the Initiative on Sahelian Floodplains, Tapoa, Niger, 31 October - 2 November 1994.

MAE-DEP (1991): Annuaire Statistique Séries Longues, 1991. Niamey, Niger: Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Elevage, Direction des Etudes et de la Programmation.

MAE-Niger (1993): Annuaire des statistiques de l'agriculture et de l'élevage 1991. Niamey. Niger: Ministère de l'Agriculture et de l'Elevage, Directions des Etudes et de la Programmation, Service d'Analyse des Politiques et de la Coordination des Statistiques. 111 pp. + figures.

Meine, C.D. and Archibald, G.W. (eds.) (1996): The Cranes: - Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Gland: IUCN.

Meyers, W.S. (1994): Australian irrigation: balancing rights and responsibilities, production and conservation. Soils News (Newsletter of the Australian Society of Soil Science), 99, July 1994: 1-4.

MHE-DFPP (1991): Organisation de la production et de la commercialisation du poisson dans le Département de Tahoua. Rapport de Projet. Niamey, Niger: Ministère de l'Hydraulique et de l'Environnement, Direction de la Faune, de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture.

MHE-DRE-Niger (1993): Liste des mares et leur régime. Niamey, Niger: Min. de l'Hydraulique et de l'Envir., Direction des Ressources en Eau.

MHE-Niger (1990a-c): Synthèse des ressources en eau du Département de Tillabéri./Zinder/Tahoua Projet PNUD/DCTD NER/86/001. Niamey, Niger: Ministère de l'Hydraulique et de l'Environnment, Direction Départementale de l’Hydraulique de Tillabéri..

MHE-Niger (1990d-e): Les nappes aquifères à l’Ouest de l’Aïr – synthèse hydrogéologique. Première partie: les nappes paléozoiques. Deuxième partie: les nappes des gres d’Agadez. Projet PNUD/DCTD NER/86/001. Niamey, Niger: Ministère de l'Hydraulique et de l'Environnement, Direction des Ressources en Eau.

MHE-Niger (1991a-d):. Les ressources en eau du Département de Diffa/Maradi/Dosso/ Nord-Est Nigérien. Projet PNUD/DCTD NER/86/001. Niamey, Niger: Ministère de l'Hydraulique et de l'Environnment. Direction Départementale de l'Hydraulique de Diffa.

MHE-Niger (1992): Séminaire National sur l’Etat de Connaissance de Ressources en Eau du Niger. Contribution des Directions Départementales de l’Hydraulique et du Genie Rural de Maradi. Maradi, du 21 au 25 avril 1992. Maradi, Niger: Ministére de l'Hydraulique et de l'Environnement, Direction Départementale de l'Hydraulique de Maradi.

Morel, G.J. (1971): Report on the controversy between agriculture and waterfowl conservation in West Africa. Report to the 17th Annual Executive Board Meeting of the International Wildfowl Research Bureau, Slimbridge, Glos., England, 9-10 Dec. 1971.

Mullié, W.C. (1994): [Capture and trade of the Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea in the Lake Chad Basin: sustainable use of a biological resource.], Niamey, Niger: DFPV (in French).

Mullié, W.C. and Brouwer, J. (1994a): with Dupont, P., Codjo, F., Adamou Kounou and Souvairan., P., Waterbirds and wetlands in the Sahel: a threatened resource. Results of three years monitoring (1992-1994) in the Republic of Niger. Report submitted to IUCN-Niger.

Mullié, W.C. and Brouwer, J. (1994b): L'importance des zones humides au Niger pour les oiseaux d'eau afrotropicals et paléarctiques, in:. Kristensen, P. (ed.), Atelier sur les zones humides du Niger. Proceedings of a workshop, 2-5 November 1994, La Tapoa/Parc du W, Niger, 57-74, Niamey, Niger: IUCN-Niger.

Mullié, W.C., Brouwer, J. and Scholte, P. (1996): Numbers, distribution and habitat of wintering White Storks in the east-central Sahel in relation to rainfall, food and anthropogenic influences, in:.Biber, O., Enggist, P., Marti, C., Salathé, T. (eds.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on the White Stork (Western Population), Basel, Switzerland, 7-10 April 1994, 219-240.

Mullié, W.C., Brouwer, J., Codjo, S.F. and Decae, R. (1999): Small isolated wetlands in the Sahel: a resource shared between people and birds, in: Beintema, A., van Vessem, J. (eds), Strategies for conserving migratory waterbirds - Proceedings of Workshop 2 of the 2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development held in Dakar, Senegal, 8-14 November 1998., Wetlands International Publication 55, 30-38, Ede, Netherlands: Wwetlands International.

Piaton, H. and Puech, C. (1992): avec Carette, J.: Apport de la télédétection pour l'évaluation des ressources en eau d'irrigation pour la mise en valeur des plans d'eau à caractère permanent ou sémi-permanent au Niger. Rapport de synthèse, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Lausanne: Comité Interafricain d'Etudes Hydrauliques and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Raverdeau, F. (1991): La contre saison au Niger. Etude des systèmes de culture dans les départements de Tillabery et Dosso, Niamey, Niger: Université de Niamey, Faculté d'Agronomie.

Sally, L., Kouda, M. and Beaumond, N. (eds) (1994): Zones humides du Burkina Faso. Compte rendu d'un séminaire sur les zones humides du Burkina Faso, Gland: IUCN Wetlands Programme.

Scoones, I. (ed.) (1991): Wetlands in drylands: the agroecology of savanna systems in Africa. Part 1: Overview - ecological, economic and social issues, London: International Institute for Environment and Development.

Ubels, J. and Horst, L. (eds) (1993): Irrigation design in Africa. Towards an interactive method. Wageningen and Ede, The Netherlands Wageningen Agricultural University and Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Co-operation.