Wetlands of Ethiopia - Ethiopian Wetlands of Ethiopia: an introduction Yilma D. Abebe Regional Wetlands

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  • Wetlands of Ethiopia Proceedings of a seminar on the resources and

    status of in Ethiopia’s wetlands

    Yilma D. Abebe and Kim Geheb(Editors)

    IUCN - The World Conservation Union

    Founded in 1948, The World Conservation Union brings together States, government agencies and a diverse range of non-governmental organisations in a unique world partnership: over 980 members in all, spread across some 140 countries.

    As a Union, IUCN seeks to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

    The World Conservation Union builds on the strengths of its members, networks and partners to enhance their capacity and to support global alliances to safeguard natural resources at local, regional and global levels.

    IUCN Wetlands and WaterResources Programme Rue Mauverney 28 CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland Tel: + 41 22 999 0001 Fax: + 41 22 999 0002 E-mail:wwrp@iucn.org www.iucn.org/themes/wetlands/

    IUCN Eastern Africa Regional Office P. O. Box 68200-00200 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: ++ 254 20 890605-12 Fax: ++ 254 20 890615/407 E-mail: mail@iucnearo.org

    IUCN Wetlands and Water Resources Programme

    IU C

    N W

    etlan d

    s o f E

    th io

    p ia

    BLUE SERIES

  • Wetlands of Ethiopia

    Proceedings of a seminar on the resources and status of Ethiopia's wetlands

    Editors

    Yilma D. Abebe and Kim Geheb

    IUCN

    2003

  • Published by: IUCN

    Copyright: 2003. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

    This publication may be produced in whole or part and in any form for education or non-profit uses, without special permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgement of the source is made. IUCN would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication which uses this publication as a source.

    No use of this publication may be made for resale or other commercial purpose without the prior written permission of IUCN.

    Citation: Abebe, Y. D. and Geheb, K. (Eds), 2003. Wetlands of Ethiopia. Proceedings of a seminar on the resources and status of Ethiopia's wetlands , vi + 116pp.

    ISBN: 2-8317-0689-0

    Design and layout: Gordon O. Arara

    Cover photographs: Front cover: Awassa wetland; Back cover: Fisherman in Awassa

    © Alan Dixon, Research Fellow, Wetland and Natural Resources Research Group, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Web site: http://wetlands/hud.ac.uk

    Available from: IUCN- EARO Publications Service Unit, P. O. Box 68200 - 00200, Nairobi, Kenya; Telephone ++ 254 20 890605-12; Fax ++ 254 20 890615; E-mail: mail@iucnearo.org

    The designations of geographical entities in this book, and the presentation of the material, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the participating organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    The opinions expressed by the authors in this publication do not necessarily represent the view of IUCN.

    The IUCN Seminar on the Wetlands of Ethiopia acknowledges the generous support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Addis Ababa.

  • IUCN - The World Conservation Union

    IUCN - The World Conservation Union was founded in 1948 and brings together 79 states, 112 government agencies, 760 NGOs, 37 affiliates, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 141 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. Its mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. Within the framework of global conventions IUCN has helped over 75 countries to prepare and implement national conservation and biodiversity strategies. IUCN has approximately 1000 staff, most of whom are located in its 42 regional and country offices while 100 work at its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.

    IUCN Wetlands and Water Resources Programme

    The IUCN Wetlands and Water Resources Programme coordinates and reinforces activities of the Union concerned with the management of wetland and water ecosystems. The Programme focuses upon the conservation of ecological and hydrological processes, in particular by developing, testing, and promoting means of sustainable utilisation of wetlands. It does so in collaboration with IUCN members and partners, in particular those other international institutions with a specific wetland mandate, especially the Ramsar Convention Bureau, and the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB).

    The core of the Programme is a series of field projects which develop the methodologies for wetland management, in particular in the countries of the developing world where wetlands are used intensively by local communities which depend upon these for their well-being. Related strategic and policy initiatives draw upon the results of these projects and present their conclusions in a form useful for government decision makers and planners.

    The activities of the Programme are designed on the basis of the concerns and information provided by IUCN members. To facilitate this, the Programme works through IUCN's regional offices. The Programme also works closely with the major development assistance agencies to ensure that conservation considerations are adequately addressed in their projects.

    The Wetlands and Water Resources Programme receives generous financial support from the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), the Swiss Directorate of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DDA), the Finnish International Development Agency (FINNIDA) and the Government of the Netherlands. Project support has been received from the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ford Foundation and a number of IUCN members including the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC), Institut Francais pour Le Developpement en Cooperation (ORSTOM), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the United States National Park Service (USNPS) and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). It is coordinated from the IUCN Headquarters in Switzerland, with regional coordinators in Central America, South America, Brazil, West, East and Southern Africa, and Asia.

  • Table of Contents

    Wetlands of Ethiopia: an introduction.......................................................................... 1 Yilma D. Abebe

    The distribution and status of Ethiopian wetlands: an overview...................................12 Leykun Abunje

    Biodiversity potentials and threats to the southern Rift Valley lakes of Ethiopia ......................................................................................18 Lemlem Sissay

    Wetlands, birds and important bird areas in Ethiopia ..................................................25 Mengistu Wonderfrash

    Wetlands research in south-western Ethiopia: the experience of the Ethiopian Wetlands Research Programme ..................................................................37 Afework Hailu

    Wetland plants in Ethiopia with examples from Illubabor, south-western Ethiopia...............................................................................49 Zerihun Woldu and Kumlachew Yeshitela

    Wetlands, gender and poverty: some elements in the development of sustainable and equitable wetland management ......................................................58 Adrian Wood

    Challenges and opportunities of Ethiopian wetlands: the case of Lake Awassa and its feeders...................................................................................67 Zerihun Desta

    Water resources policy and river basin development as related to wetlands .................76 Messele Fisseha

    Wetlands policy development in Ethiopia...................................................................81 Dessalagne Mesfin

    Environmental impact assessment and the wise use of wetlands..................................86 Berhanu Tekaligne

    Towards Sustainable Wetlands Management: The Ugandan Experience......................97 Reint J. Bakema and Paul Mafabi

  • Appendix I. Ethiopian Wetlands...............................................................................108

    Seminar attendance ..................................................................................................111

    Contributors.............................................................................................................113

    Other titles in this series ...........................................................................................114

  • 1

    Wetlands of Ethiopia: an introduction

    Yilma D. Abebe

    Regional Wetlands Programme IUCN Eastern Africa Regional Office P. O. Box 68200 Nairobi Kenya

    An introduction to wetlands

    Wetlands are ecosystems or units of the landscape that are found on the interface between land and water. While water is a major factor of wetland definition (Ramsar Convention Bureau, 1997), soils, vegetation and animal life also contribute to their unique characteristics (Koetze, 1996; Howard, 1995; Roggeri, 1995). As a result, it has proved difficult to define wetlands, and over 50 definitions exist. That used by the Ramsar Convention (1997: 2) is as follows:

    “areas of marsh, fen