A valuation-based approach for sustainable utilization of khubelu wetlands in lesotho Masetsabelo Cecilia Moqekela

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University of Dar es Salaam
The open-access nature of wetlands often leads to failure in appreciation of the important values of wetlands in decisions relating to their use and conservation. Khubelu catchment wetlands are part of those wetlands undergoing degradation in Lesotho. The study aims to determine the contribution of economic values of Khubelu wetlands to the local communities for their sustainable management. This has been achieved through the use of integrated environmental assessment framework applying three methods of valuation (market price, substitute cost and contingent valuation). Market price and substitute cost methods were used for valuation of those goods that people derive value from their direct use while the willingness to pay (contingency) method was used for assessing value of goods that people have never, and probably will never use, like biodiversity. Methods of data collection employed included: questionnaire survey, key informants interviews, and focus group discussions. The identified goods and services provided by the wetlands and their values to the local community are: recharging of ground water (US$ 540,617), provision of water (US$ 173,143), forage for grazing animals (US$ 6643), medicinal plants (US$ 5429), wild vegetables (US$ 3751), thatching grass (US$ 2900) and biodiversity services (US$ 51,814). The annual Total Economic Value (TEV) of benefits from Khubelu wetlands is estimated as US$ 784,537. The legal, policy and institutional Frameworks in the management of Khubelu wetlands are strong and well designed to meet opportunities as well as to defend against threats. These wetlands play an important role to the Khubelu communities and the nation as a whole and should therefore be managed sustainably.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QH87.3.L5M66)
Lesotho, Wetlands, Khubelu wetlands
Moqekela, M C (2016) A valuation-based approach for sustainable utilization of khubelu wetlands in lesotho, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam