Addressing the Multiple Drivers of Wetland Ecosystems Degradation in Lagos, Nigeria
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Several body of knowledge have noted the importance of wetland ecosystems in climate moderation, resource supply and flood risk reduction amongst others. Relevant as it may, rapidly increasing population and uncontrolled urban development poses a challenge in some regions and require understanding of the ecosystem components and drivers of change over a long period of time. Thus, the main thrust of this paper is to analyse multiple drivers of wetland ecosystems degradation in the last 30 years in the Lagos megacity using field study, desktop review, satellite data and laboratory analysis. Key drivers identified includes: conversion of wetlands to settlements and waste sink, land use planning that neglects wetland conservation and restoration, ineffective legal status for wetlands, over exploitation leading to degradation and fragmentation of wetland ecosystems governance. In stemming further loss of this vital ecosystem, this study adopted and proposed respectively, the Drivers, Pressure, State, Impact and Response (DPSIR) and Integrated Planning Approach (IPA) frameworks in analysing policy and governance issues in wetland development. These analyses figured out amongst others, strict conservation and sustainable use of wetland resources, habitat restoration, climate adaptation measures, legal protection and wetland management institution as major responses to current multiple pressures facing wetland ecosystems in Lagos. For these frameworks to be made meaningful, weak coordination among government agencies and institutional capacity in implementation and law enforcement, unsustainable resource extraction by private/business organization and issues on alternative sources of income on the part of the local communities amongst others needs to be addressed.