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Home > Phase 1 > Phase 1 Yellow > Valuing wetland resources in China (PN69)

Full Project Title: Valuing the role of living aquatic resources to rural livelihoods in multiple-use, seasonally-inundated wetlands in the Yellow River Basin of China, for improved governance (PN69)


Direct conversion of the wetlands in the Yellow River Basin to other uses, including agriculture, urban and industrial uses have reduced the area of natural wetlands, while the remaining natural areas are under threat of habitat fragmentation and pollution.

An inadequate or lack of appreciation of the broader ecosystem services provided by wetlands means that decision makers view wetlands of little or no value whereas the benefits of converting them to more ‘productive’ uses outweigh those derived from the maintenance of wetlands in their functional state.

The main purpose of the research project was to provide evidence and raise awareness of communities’ livelihood dependence on wetland resources, highlight trade-offs in terms of how wetlands ecosystem services are compromised under current use and management regimes, and the additional benefits of raising the profile and value of the wetlands.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • Findings highlighted the livelihood dependence of riverine communities on the wetland resources primarily for crop cultivation with aquaculture, fishing and nature recreation as secondary activities.
  • The study used multicriteria evaluation and mapping tools to demonstrate to participating stakeholders that if broader ecosystem services of the wetlands were considered, the natural wetlands perform as well if not better than areas already modified and converted for various economic activities including agriculture, aquaculture and salt production.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • Greater consideration given to wetland ecosystem functions in considering activities that will take place in the wetland areas of the Yellow River Delta at Dongying.
  • Interest in conserving wetlands as potential carbon sinks and means of trading in the future under the REDD.
  • The principal change in actors in Sanmenxia is recognition of the needs of local people who are vulnerable to environmental change and show a dependency on former and present wetland resources within the nature reserve.
Publications and Outputs

Selected publications and outputs

Journal article

  1. Hou, X.L. and Fan, E.Y. 2010. The Conflict and Coordination of Economic Development and Ecological Protection: a Case of Yellow River Wetland Nature Reserve in Sanmenxia. Hunan Agricultural Sciences (in Chinese with English abstract).
  2. Huo, X.W. The present status of Dongying wetland utilization for aquaculture development and it’s environmental impact analysis. Jiangsu Agricultural Sciences (in Chinese with English abstract).

Working paper

  1. Kam et al. (work in progress3). Synthesis report on the status of information about the wetland study sites.
  2. Kam, S.P. 2010. Policy brief on the management of wetlands in the Yellow River Basin.


  1. Huo Xiang Wei. 2010. The environmental impact analysis study of Dongying present status of wetland aquatic resources development and utilization. Master thesis submitted to Shanghai Ocean University, China.
  2. Hou Xiao Lei. 2010. The research on protection of wtland and the sustainable development of district in Sanmenxia. Master thesis submitted to Shanghai Ocean University, China.

Training materials

  1. Kam, S.P. and Teoh, S.J. 2008. User guide for GPS data collection.
  2. Guides on participatory tools for field surveys (in English and translated into Chinese).
  3. Guides on participatory approaches for livelihood diagnosis.
  4. Guide on Tools for Compilation and Analysis of Livelihoods Survey Data.
  5. Write-shop Guide for Capturing Knowledge.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.