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The aquatic biodiversity and tourism value of selected South African RAMSAR wetlands
Expanded Title:Out of 22-ramsar wetlands, the project studied 8 sites based on the data availability and costs limitation. The results of the aquatic ecosystems indicated that many of the Ramsar sites are unique or have specific features that make the assessment of the sites difficult. For example, the diatom and macroinvertebrate communities within the Makuleke Wetlands indicate that each depression (pan) within the wetland is unique and contributes to the overall diversity of the system. There can be no doubt that some form of anthropogenic activity threatens each of the Ramsar wetlands that were included during this project. In general, these threats can be summarised as habitat loss, nutrient enrichment, numerous pollutants, urban and rural encroachment, alien invasive species, poor land use practises and organic enrichment. All of these could pose a significant threat to the Ramsar sites, presently as well as in the future. Management and proper monitoring will be the only effective tool to track and provide an early warning for the degradation of these Ramsar wetlands. The results gathered here provide a current baseline for monitoring. The data was used to update the Ramsar Information Sheets (RIS) that form part of the requirements of the Ramsar Convention. The study indicates that ecotourism at the Ramsar wetlands could be invaluable in generating income for the specific sites. However, it was obvious that the ecotourism potential for many of the Ramsar wetlands was still underutilised. Thus there is significant potential to develop sustainable ecotourism and education initiatives at many of South Africa’s Ramsar wetlands.
Date Published:01/10/2017
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:TT 732/17
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0920-0
Authors:Malherbe W; Ferreira M; Van Vuren JHJ; Wepener V; Smit NJ
Project No:K5/2353
Originator:WRC
Organizations:North West University
Document Size:5 623 KB
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