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Home > Basin > Limpopo > Wetlands-based livelihoods in the Limpopo Basin (PN30)

Full Project Title: Wetlands-based livelihoods in the Limpopo Basin: Balancing social welfare and environmental security (PN30)


The wetlands in the LRB – predominantly seasonally or permanently saturated areas – are an important and highly productive resource in a region characterized by climatic extremes. The complex and ecologically sensitive wetlands support the livelihoods (especially of the poorest who are most dependent on wetlands) through agriculture and livestock production especially to alleviate constraints from short drought spells or mid-season droughts as well as numerous other important environmental functions, including flood control and biodiversity.

Altering the wetland environment through cultivation, for example, has potential impacts across the wetland and the associated downstream areas while continued unplanned conversion of wetlands to cropland can result in long-term environmental degradation and severely compromise the other benefits derived from these areas.

The objective was to enhance food security and improve livelihoods of wetland-dependent communities by increasing productivity of water and optimizing and maintaining wetland ecosystem services in three wetlands in the Limpopo River Basin.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • Developed and applied a trade-offs based framework for making decisions about allocations of wetland resources to specific uses, including agriculture.
  • Determined trade-offs among different agricultural uses of wetland water and between agricultural water use and environmental use; identify who benefits; develop guidelines on acceptable levels of wetland water use for agriculture and encourage these as best practice.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • New knowledge and tools captured in the three main outputs of the project: 1) Framework for inventory, 2) WETSYS tradeoff model, and 3) Guidelines for sustainable management. WETSYS can be used to simulate different management interventions under localized global change scenarios.
  • Partnership and capacity building resulting from implementation of the project provide the basis for impact. Partnerships developed during the project continue through other projects that build on the achievements, particularly tradeoffs analysis developed by PN30.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN30 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Institutional analysis

  1. Tinguery N., 2006. The interface between local community based wetland resources management and the formal wetland policies, laws and institutions in South Africa and Zambia, MSc thesis, The Heller School of social policy, Brandeis University

Livelihood analysis

  1. Adekola, O. 2007. Economic valuation and livelihood analysis of the provisioning services provided by GaMampa wetland, South Africa. MSc thesis, Wageningen University.
  2. Adekola, O., S. Morardet, et al. (2008). The economic and livelihood value of provisioning services of the Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa. 13th IWRA World Water Congress, Montpellier, France.
  3. Chiputwa, B. 2006.Socio-economic analysis of wetland utilization and livelihood implications on poor farmers: A case study of Intunjambili community. MSc Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zimbabwe.

Stakeholder analysis

  1. Lopes A and Giva N. 2006. Stakeholder analyses, wetland uses and perceptions: the case of Missavene wetland, Chibuto, Mozambique. CPWF Project report.
  2. Darradi, Y., Grelot, F. and Morardet, S. 2006. Analysing stakeholders for sustainable wetland management in the Limpopo River basin: The case of GaMampa wetland, South Africa, Proceedings of the 7th WATERNET/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium “Mainstreaming IWRM in the Development Process”, Lilongwe, Malawi, 1-3 November 2006, 25 p.

Trade-offs analysis

  1. Morardet, Sylvie, Mutsa Masiyandima, Wellington Jogo, and Dinis Juizo. 2010. Trade-offs between livelihoods and wetland ecosystem services: an integrated dynamic model of Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa. Proceedings of LANDMOD2010. Montpellier. February 3-5, 2010.

Wetland ecological assessment and ecosystem valuation

  1. Adekola, O. 2007. Economic valuation and livelihood analysis of the Provisioning services provided by Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa. MSc. Thesis. Wageningen University
  2. Bandeira, Salomao, Alice Massingue Manjate and Osvaldo Filipe. 2006. An ecological assessment of the health of the Chibuto wetland in the dry season, Mozambique -emphasis on resources assessment, utilization and sustainability analysis. CPWF Project report.
  3. Finlayson, C. M. and S Pollard, 2009. A Framework for Undertaking Wetland Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring in the Limpopo Basin, Southern Africa. CPWF Project Report.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


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