Decision Support Tool to Aid Wetlands Policy Making in East-Africa
Erick Omwandho Opiyo, Matthias Langensiepen, Mathias Becker
Univeristy of Bonn, Inst. Crop Sci. and Res. Conserv. (INRES), Germany
Wetlands provide good source of natural water, which is available throughout the year. Research conducted in the past, have shown that wetlands are being converted into agriculture productions sites at an alarming rate, this could be attributed to the unproductive state of upland agricultural soils; due over cultivation, unfavorable climate, land segmentation and population pressure. Majority of East-Africa countries are at different stages of formulating wetland policy that will guide wetland conservation and wise use. However, there is inadequate information and knowledge about the extent and scale of wetlands and how they are being utilized. This can be attributed to the lack of a clear universal accepted definition of what wetlands are, since wetlands naturally differ in size, scale, elevation, soil physical and chemical properties, seasonality and vulnerability status; that is the extent to which wetland have been used and converted to other landforms to the detriment of losing their original state. With the limited definition of what wetlands are, some countries are considering broader wetland policy that will cover all possible types of wetlands without putting into consideration, the unique nature of wetlands in relation to their typology. There is also limited input from stakeholders, who might relay directly and indirectly on wetlands as a source of income.
Keywords: Decision making, decision support, East Africa, policy making, software engineering, wetlands
Contact Address: Erick Omwandho Opiyo, Univeristy of Bonn, Inst. Crop Sci. and Res. Conserv. (INRES), Nussallee 1, 53773 Bonn, Germany, e-mail: opiyouni-bonn.de