Wetlands in Uganda are believed to be socio-economically important for providing water for drinking, irrigation, fisheries, recreation, transport and agriculture among others. Bearing in mind the host of benefits wetlands provide to local communities, if they are harnessed without the mind, they could end up being over utilized and ultimately degraded and not continue to provide a stream of functions, attributes and services. This could be one of the primary reasons why special Departments and Institutions like the National Environment Management Authority and Wetlands Management Department were created to manage the country’s natural resources including wetlands. The study was initiated to explore how wetland management agencies influence members of the local community on matters concerning the conservation of wetlands in Uganda. A cross-sectional research design was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. A questionnaire survey was conducted amongst four hundred households to collect information concerning the role of wetland management agencies among members of the local community for the conservation of wetlands in Uganda. More information was obtained from senior officials from the National Environment Management Authority, Wetland Management Department, and District Natural Resources Officers from the study area using a non-structured questionnaire. Key informant interviews and direct observations were also used to collect data. The study revealed that gathering materials for building and for making crafts, agricultural activities, unsustainable mining of clay and sand for building contributed to wetland degradation. Some circumstances like high population growth, unclear wetland ownership, unawareness of the indirect functions of wetlands also contributed to wetland degradation. It was found that the wetland management agencies have been ineffective towards the conservation of wetlands mainly due to inadequate funding, political interference, and lack of specific judges for wetland related court cases among others. For wetland management agencies to effectively perform their duties leading to the protection and conservation of wetlands in Uganda, the study recommends that members of the local community should be allowed to practice wetland edge farming, fish farming in ponds constructed in wetlands, and to leave some parts of these vital wetlands that have been reclaimed to regenerate, in addition to addressing the main reported hindrances that are stifling the smooth running of the activities of the agencies.
Berkes F., Colding J., Folke C. 2000. Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications, 10, 5: 1251–1262.
Bos E., Muhweezi A., West K., 2005. From Conversion to Conservation. Fifteen Years of Managing Wetlands for People and the Environment in Uganda. Kampala, Uganda.
Bryman A. 2004. Social Research Methods. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York.
Chapman L.J., Balirwa J., Bugenyi F.W.B., Chapman C., Crisman T.L., 2001. Wetlands of East Africa: biodiversity, exploitation, and policy perspectives. [in:] B. Gopal, W.J. Junk, J.A. Davis (eds.) Biodiversity in Wetlands: Assessment, Function and Cons, vol. 2. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden: 101–131.
Colchester M. 2000. Self-determination or environmental determinism for indigenous peoples in tropical forest conservation. Conservation Biology, 14, 5: 1365–1367.
Dahlberg A.C., Burlando C. 2009. Addressing trade-offs: experiences from conservation and development initiative in mkuze wetlands, South Africa. Ecology and Society, 14, 2: 37.
Dearborn D.C., Kark S. 2009. Motivations for Conserving Urban Diversity. Conservation Biology, 24, 2: 432–440.
Decaro D., Stokes M. 2008. Social-psychological Principles of Community-based Conservation and Conservancy motivation: Attaining goals within an Autonomy-Supportive Environment. Conservation Biology, 22, 6: 1443–1451.
EPA. 2006. Economic Benefits of Wetlands. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water, USA.
Goldman M. 2003. Partitioned Nature, Privileged Knowledge: Community-based Conservation in Tanzania. Development and Change, 34, 5: 833–862.
Gombya-Ssembajjwe W., Banana AY. 1998. Property rights and the sustainability of forests in Uganda, Presented at International Association for the Study of Common Property, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 10–14.
GOU. 2010. National Development Plan (2010/11–2014/15). Government of Uganda, Kampala, Uganda.
Hara M., Turner S., Haller T., Matose F. 2009. Governance of the commons in southern Africa: knowledge, political economy and power. Development Southern Africa, 26, 4: 521–537.
Hartter J., Ryan S.J. 2009. Top-down or bottom-up? Decentralization, natural resource management, and usufruct rights in the forests and wetlands in western Uganda. Land Use Policy, 27: 815–826.
Hartter J., Southworth J. 2009. Dwindling resources and fragmentation of landscapes around parks: wetlands and forest fragments around Kibale National Park, Uganda. Landscape Ecology, 24, 5: 643–656.
Hoggart K., Lee L., Davies A. 2002. Researching Human Geography. Arnold, London.
Hyman D., McKnight J., Higdon F., 2001. Doing Democracy: Conflict and Consensus Strategies for Citizen, Organisation, and Communities. Education Press, New York.
Kaggwa R., Hogan R., Hall B. (eds.) 2009. Enhancing Wetlands’ Contribution to Growth, Employment and Prosperity. Environment and Natural Resources Series. UNDP/NEMA/UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative, Uganda.
Kamugisha J.R. 1993. Management of Natural Resources in Uganda. Policy and Legislation Landmarks, 1890–1990. SIDA Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi.
Kellert S.R., Mehta J.N., Ebbin S.A. Lichenfed L.L. 2000. Community Natural Resource Management: Promise, Rhetoric and Reality. Society and Natural Resources, 13: 705–715.
Le Bel S., Murwira A., Mukamuri B., Czudek R., Taylor R., La Grange M., 2011. Human wildlife conflicts in southern Africa: riding the whirl wind in Mozambique and in Zimbabwe. [in:] J. López-Pujol (ed.). The importance of biological interactions in the study of biodiversity. IntechOpen: 283–322.
Leach M., Mearns R., Scoones I., 1999. Environmental Entitlements: Dynamics and Institutions in Community-Based Natural Resource Management. World Development, 27, 2: 225–247.
Lindlof T.R. Taylor C.B. 2011. Qualitative Communication Research Methods. 3rd ed., SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks.
Maclean I., Tinch R., Hassall M., Boar R. 2003. Towards Optimal Use of Tropical Wetlands: an Economic Valuation of Goods Derived from Papyrus Swamps in Southwest Uganda. Environmental Change and Management Working Paper ECM03-10. Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, Norwich.
Masuku Van Damme L.S. Meskell L. 2009. Producing Conservation and Community in South Africa. Ethics, Place and Environment, 12, 1: 69–89.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and Human Beings. Wetlands and Water Synthesis. World Resource Institute, Washington D.C.
Ministry of Natural Resources. 1995. The National Environment Management Policy. Kampala, Uganda.
Ministry of Water and Environment. 2009. Water and Sanitation Sector Performance Report. Ministry of Water and Environment, Kampala, Uganda.
Mitsch W.J. Gosselink J.G. 2000. The Values of Wetlands: Landscapes and Institutional Perspectives. Ecological Economics, 35 (200): 25–33.
Murphree M.W. 2002. Protected areas and the commons. Common Property Resource Digest. Perseus, New York, 60: 1–3.
MWE. 2005. Water and Sanitation Sector Performance Report. Ministry of Water and Environment, Kampala, Uganda.
National Environment Management Policy. 1994. Ministry of Natural Resources. Kampala. Uganda.
National Policy for the Conservation and Management of Wetland Resources. 1995. Ministry of Water and Environment. Wetlands Management Department. Kampala, Uganda.
National Wetlands Conservation and Management Programme. 1998. Final report on External Review Mission, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Kampala, Uganda.
Nature Uganda. 2003. Community Based Conservation of Wetlands’ Biodiversity in South Western Uganda. The Crane Focus Baseline Report, Nature Uganda, Kampala.
Nelson F., Agrawal A. 2008. Patronage or participation? Community-based natural resource management reform in sub- Saharan Africa. Development and Change, 3: 557–584.
Nelson F., Foley C., Foley LS., Leposo A., Loure E., Peterson D., Peterson M., Peterson T., Sachedina H., Williams A. 2009. Payments for Ecosystem services as a framework for Community-based Conservation in Northern Tanzania. Society for Conservation Biology. Conservation Biology, 24, 1: 78–85.
NEMA. 2008. State of Environment Report for Uganda. Kampala, Uganda.
NEMA. 2010. State of Environment Report for Uganda. National Environment Management Authority. Kampala, Uganda.
New Vision. 2014. The New Vision Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd. Kampala, Uganda.
Nile Basin Initiative Report. 2009. Nile Basin Initiative. Kampala, Uganda.
Nkonya E., Pender J., Kato E., Mugarura S., Muwonge J. 2005. Who Knows, Who Cares? Determinants of Enactment, Awareness and Compliance with Community Natural Resource Management By-laws in Uganda. CAPRi Working Paper, 41. Washington, DC.
Ntambirweki J. 1998. The evolution of policy and legislation of wetlands in Uganda. Technical Consultation on Designing Methodologies to Review Laws and Institutions Relevant to Wetlands. Gland, Switzerland.
Nyakaana J.B. 2008. Sustainable Wetland Resource Utilization of Sango Bay through Ecotourism Development. Africa Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 2, 10: 326–335.
Pagdee A., Kim Y. Daugherty P. 2006. What makes Community Forest Management Successful: a meta-study from community forests throughout the World? Society and Natural Resources, 19: 33–52.
Pimbert M.P. Pretty J.N. 1997. Diversity and Sustainability in Community-based Conservation. Paper for the UNESCO-IIPA Regional Workshop on Community-based Conservation, February 9–12, India.
Ruiz-Mallen I., Corbera E. 2013. Community-based Conservation and traditional ecological knowledge: Implications for social-ecological resilience. Ecology and Society, 18, 4: 12.
Sarantakos S. 2005. Social Research. 3rd ed., Palgrave Mac-Millan, New York.
Scanlon L.J., Kull C,A. 2009. Untangling the links between wildlife benefits and community-based conservation at Torra Conservancy, Namibia. Development Southern Africa, 26, 1: 75–94.
Schwartzmann S., Moreira A, Nepstad D. 2000. Rethinking tropical forest conservation: perils in parks. Conservation Biology, 14, 5: 1351–1357.
Svotwa E., Manyanhaire I.O., Makombe P. 2007. Sustainable Use of Wetlands: A case for Mwaonazvawo Village in Mutasa District of Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 9, 1: 1–36.
The National Environment Statute. 1995. Statute Supplement to the Uganda Gazette, Printed by UPPC, Entebbe, 87, 21.
Timmer V. 2004. Community-based Conservation and Leadership: Frameworks for Analyzing the Equator Initiative. CID Graduate Student Working Paper No. 2, Cambridge MA: Science, Environment and Development Group, Center for International Development, Harvard University.
Turyahabwe N., Kakuru W., Tweheyo M., Tumusiime D.M. 2013. Contribution of wetland resources to household food security in Uganda. Agriculture and Food Security, 2, 5: 2–12.
UNEP. 2003. Report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Protected Areas. United Nations Environmental Programme, Convention on Biological Diversity, November 10–14, Montreal, Canada.
USAID. 2011. Environmental Threats and Opportunities Assessment. Report produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development. Kampala, Uganda.
Were AN., Isabirye M., Poesen L., Maertens M., Deckers J., Mathijs E. 2013. Decentralised Governance of Wetland Resources in the Lake Victoria Basin of Uganda. Natural Resources, 4, 1: 55–64.
Wetlands Management Department. 2013. Wetlands and the Law. Legislation governing the ownership, use and access to wetlands and their resources. Ministry of Water and Environment, Kampala, Uganda.