Challenges affecting the management of Thulamela wetlands: managers engagement with local communities use of wetlands

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dc.contributor.advisor Dalu, Mwazvita T. B.
dc.contributor.advisor Dalu, Tatenda
dc.contributor.advisor Murungweni, Florence
dc.contributor.author Mukhuwana, Onica
dc.date 2020
dc.date.accessioned 2020-10-07T10:25:45Z
dc.date.available 2020-10-07T10:25:45Z
dc.date.issued 2020-10
dc.identifier.citation Mukhuwana, Onica (2019) Challenges affecting the management of Thulamela wetlands: managers engagement with local communities use of wetlands. University of Venda, South Africa.<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1602>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1602
dc.description MENVSC en_ZA
dc.description Department of Ecology and Resource Management
dc.description.abstract Wetlands are amongst the world’s most important ecosystems providing many direct and indirect benefits to local communities. The majority of South Africans residing in rural areas depends mostly on natural resources for their livelihood. However, wetlands in South Africa continue to be the most threatened ecosystems primarily due to unsustainable use and poor resource management. Additionally, the history of South Africa has been characterised by exclusion of local communities in the process of decision-making and general management of natural resources. The aim of the study was to investigate possible challenges affecting the management of Thulamela wetlands by assessing the level of interaction and conflicting interest amongst participating stakeholders, including role of wetlands on local communities for possibly improved management scenarios. The study used questionnaires, interviews and observations to capture data on the local communities and management stakeholders. Seven wetlands within Thulamela were selected as study areas and the study population was selected based on their specialised expertise, involvement, and closeness to wetlands. Data was analysed using SPSS, Microsoft Excel and also using thematic analysis in NVIVO. The results show that selected wetlands are highly beneficial in supporting the local communities. Based on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics (family size, age, gender, and employment status) measured, the study deduced that unemployment rate or low income of the respondents is the main contributor to an increase dependency on wetland utilization. Additionally, the results revealed that unregulated use and excessive agricultural practices such as cultivation and livestock grazing are common in all study areas, hence further degradation of these wetlands. One of the findings from the study was the destruction of wetlands through expansion of human settlement. The population increase in the areas was found to be major drivers of socio-economic challenges causing people to spread through and exploit wetlands. Consequently, human settlement along the wetland area has resulted in the extensive clearance of natural wetland vegetation. Furthermore, the results show that there is poor wetland information transfer to the local communities most likely due to none/or insufficient outreach programmes. The current management arrangements and structures for selected wetlands are not being practiced through the unequal representation amongst management stakeholders and poor inclusion of local communities in management processes. Additionally, there are currently no openly known active platforms provided upon which stakeholders are able to air their views on wetlands management issues. The findings further show differences in perceptions amongst wetlands users, non-users and management stakeholders. The management stakeholders have a relatively strong focus on livelihood and environmental problems, they regard rules and regulations on wetland use’ as a relatively central variable. On the other hand, the local communities are currently more concerned about the benefits they receive from the wetlands than the conservation of those systems. The study also revealed unequal representation amongst participating management stakeholders. The findings show poor interaction between the management stakeholders and the local communities; differences in perceptions amongst resource users, non-users and managers; exploitation of wetlands resources; poor wetlands information transfer. The results suggest that centralised top-down rules and regulations on wetland use are not sufficient for maintaining the wetland ecosystem and this poses a challenge to sustainable wetland management. Therefore, there is a need to develop shared understanding through bottom-up approaches to wetland management that are nested within national regulatory frameworks, ideally combined with awareness building and knowledge sharing on the ecological benefits and management of wetland. en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_ZA
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xi, 121 leaves : color illustrations, color maps)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Wetland en_ZA
dc.subject Ecosystem services en_ZA
dc.subject Thulamela en_ZA
dc.subject Local communities en_ZA
dc.subject Stakeholders en_ZA
dc.subject Management en_ZA
dc.subject.ddc 577.680968257
dc.subject.lcsh Wetlands -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Wetland management -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Ecosystem management -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Wetland mitigation -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Wetland restoration -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Challenges affecting the management of Thulamela wetlands: managers engagement with local communities use of wetlands en_ZA
dc.type Dissertation en_ZA

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