Wetlands provide vital services for the livelihoods of local peoples; however, the ecological integrity of wetlands in Ethiopia has not yet been studied. In this study, we investigated the main ecosystem services of wetlands among different land use types, incorporating local perception toward wetland management. Six wetlands were selected from forested, agricultural and urban areas in the Jimma highlands. A total of 332 local residents within a 5-km radius of each wetland were surveyed. An additional 34 development agents and district and zonal experts were interviewed. The provisioning and cultural services were found to surpass the regulatory and supporting services of wetlands in agricultural and urban land uses compared with wetlands located in the forest. Although most individuals positively viewed wetland regulation and supporting services, the majority of households (66 %) were not interested in conserving wetlands because of small landholdings and the need to meet their livelihoods. Consequently, the vital regulatory and supporting services of impacted agricultural and urban wetlands are gradually becoming limited. Urgent action is, therefore, required to restore and protect these wetlands by promoting alternative livelihoods and improving the agricultural productivity of small landholders.
- Ecosystem services
- Local people’s perception