Journal of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Ext. Rural Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2170
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAERD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 479

Full Length Research Paper

Ratification of the Ramsar convention and sustainable wetlands management: Situation analysis of the Kilombero Valley wetlands in Tanzania

Felister Mombo1,2, Stijn Speelman², Guido Van Huylenbroeck2, Joseph Hella1, Munishi Pantaleo1*   and Stein Moe3
1Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O Box 3011, Morogoro, Tanzania. 2Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. 3Norwegian University of Life Science, P.O Box 5003, Aas, Norway
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 August 2011
  •  Published: 02 September 2011


In recent years, the Kilombero Valley wetlands in Tanzania was designated and added to the Ramsar convention’s list in an attempt to improve its social, economic and environmental values.  This study, carried out in selected sites within the Kilombero Valley wetlands, uses a participatory approach to analyze the existing situation and to reflect upon the quest for sustainable management as defined by Ramsar convention. The empirical findings reveal that the Kilombero Valley wetlands are an important source of livelihood for 87% of the dwellers in the area. Moreover, the wetlands also contribute significantly to welfare outside the area as 70% of the country’s hydropower depends on water regulation functions of this wetland and they are the source of a diverse number of streams, adding to their biological and ecological value. The study furthermore revealed that the current institutional arrangement for the site threaten the sustainability of the wetlands, despite its addition to the Ramsar convention’s list. A more detailed study on appropriate incentive mechanisms for the sustainable management of the wetlands, which would help to internalize the negative effects created by the users, is recommended.


Key words: Wetlands, sustainable management, incentive mechanisms, institutions.