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Using direct use values for economic valuation of wetland ecosystem services: a case of Songore wetland, Zimbabwe

Mahlatini, Precious, Hove, Anthea, Maguma, Lioli F., Chemura, Abel
GeoJournal 2020 v.85 no.1 pp. 41-51
economic valuation, ecosystem services, ecosystems, household income, households, livelihood, natural resource management, public services and goods, questionnaires, villages, wetlands, Zimbabwe
Many rural households derive a variety of direct use goods and services from wetland ecosystems in many countries, and as such wetlands are their pillar to livelihoods. The contribution of wetlands to economic wellbeing of society at household, community level and national level is however not well understood. The aim of this study was to use the direct use value method for identifying and quantifying goods obtained from wetlands and determining their contribution to total household income. Primary data was collected through field studies and questionnaires from Songore, Gombera and Musami villages which surround Songore wetland in Murehwa district, Zimbabwe. Two indicators were used to value the wetland resources which are the Gross Financial Value (GFV) and the Wetland Income (WI) from the collected data. Research findings have revealed that the annual economic value of Songore wetland was estimated to be $142 431.17 (GFV) and the annual cash income was $20 848.31 (WI). The results showed that annually wetland resources contributed about 50% to total household income and the incomes generated from quantities of goods harvested from the wetland varied across villages. Since the wetland has high economic value, it is important to set up institutions that facilitate the formation of Community Based Natural Resource Management programme to manage the wetland and resource use.