Valuing the role of aquatic resources in livelihoods: Economic aspects of community wetland management in Stoeng Treng Ramsar Site, Cambodia

IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group Asia
Publication Type:
2005, pp. 1 - 59
Issue Date:
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Wetlands are vital to the livelihoods of hundred of millions of people residing in the Lower Mekong region, and particularly to the food security of many of the rural poor. There are many stakeholders with interest in the management of these precious resources including government agencies across different sectors and at different levels, private businesses, international and local non-governmental organisations, and local communities. In Cambodia, however, there exist a number of barriers to effective wetland management. These barriers include: lack of co-ordination between different sectoral approaches; weak policy frameworks and unsupportive economic environments; inadequate information on which to base wetland planning and management decisions and policies; inadequate human and technical resources; and lack of options for resource use by local communities. Economic assessments can help us manage wetland resources by improving our understanding of what drives resource-use decisions and why, and to what extent, wetlands are valuable to local communities. This document reports on a study which illustrated how economic assessments can improve wetland management. The aim of the study was to provide guidance on the use of environmental economic assessment methodologies to support wetlands management for poverty alleviation outcomes in Stoeng Treng Ramsar site. Village-level economic valuation techniques were employed to conduct livelihoods assessments in Veun Sean (one village within the Ramsar site) in order to draw more general conclusions about wetland resource use and management. The study extended beyond quantitative assessment to explore the context in which resource-use decisions are made and the linkages between poverty and the importance of wetland resources
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