Wetlands in East Africa
Reconciling future food production with environmental protection
A GlobE Initiative for 'Global Food Security'
Food production in East Africa shows stagnating and even declining trends, mainly a consequence of land degradation and climate variability. In contrast, wetlands, with year-round water availability, high resource base quality and the potential to harvest several crops per year present production hotspots in an otherwise degraded landscape.
Wetlands cover 20 Mio ha in East Africa with only a small share currently being used. We surmise that these areas may become the bread basket of the region.
A consortium from Bonn-Köln-Jülich and African partners will assess the status quo of wetlands’ contribution to food security and the sustainability of current wetland uses along climatic and social gradients. We will evaluate agronomic options based on ecological intensification, while considering nature protection and ecosystem services. Simulation models and tools for integrated assessment will be used for regionally extrapolating future wetland uses and testing possible scenarios, considering global change projections. The provision of decision tools and capacity building measures will ensure the application of the findings in the region and beyond.