Socio-ecological aspects of sustaining Ramsar wetlands in three biodiverse developing countries

Jasmyn LYNCH, Elikana Kalumanga, Guillermo Ospina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Integrating conservation and ecologically sustainable development of wetlands is a major challenge, especially in developing countries. While many developing countries harbour significant biodiversity and socio-cultural resources, they have substantial development pressures. We explore the similarities in issues around wetland conservation and sustainability in three developing countries using case studies of internationally significant wetlands in Tanzania, Colombia and Papua New Guinea. We examine key aspects of their socio-ecological values, stakeholder and governance issues, conservation and management issues, and management responses. Key challenges across these regions include inadequate knowledge and data, population and development impacts, poor regulatory and planning processes, socio-economic inequities and conflict. All three areas lack adequate inventory, survey and monitoring, and there are significant risks to some wetland values. Mechanisms such as the Ramsar Convention provide a framework to assist in addressing global wetland loss, but implementation at these sites needs to be supported by effective, integrative approaches involving natural resource regulation, conservation and the development needs of local communities. Increased commitment and resourcing, along with comprehensive stakeholder engagement, are needed to develop and implement locally tailored plans to effectively manage these sites and their values, while also addressing the range of stakeholder needs and perspectives
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-868
Number of pages19
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016


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