Leading Integrated Research in Africa (LIRA) for Agenda 2030. Project title: Enhancing urban wetland and river ecosystem health

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr Oghenekaro Nelson Odume (Rhodes University)

Co-PI: Dr Blessing Nonye Onyima (Nnamdi Azikiwe University)

Dr Chika Nnadozie (Rhodes University);
Mr Gift Ochonogor Omovoh (Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria);
Mrs Blessing Odafe Omovoh (Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria);
Dr Efe Ogidiaka Delta State School of Marine Technolgy, Nigeria);
Ms Khaya Mgaba (Rhodes University)

 Project partners: Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Department of Environmental Assessment, Federal Ministry of Environment

Implementation countries: South Africa and Nigeria

Project summary

Urban rivers and wetlands are often seriously degraded ecosystems, and in Africa, they are often used as sewage and storm water disposal pipes1 (Winter 20171). Heathy urban rivers and wetlands can contribute to and support sustainable urban development through the provision of a variety of ecosystem services. The continuing degradation of urban rivers and wetlands present an intractable challenge, and we argue that part of this intractability arises of insufficient appreciation of urban planners and policy makers in Africa of the interconnectedness and interdependence between ecological and social subsystems with a river/wetland catchment. To address this challenge, we propose a systemic-relational (SR) ethically grounded approach within the complex social-ecological system framework as an analytical perspective for investigating the ecological, economic and social as well as management and institutional dimensions of urban rivers and wetland health. Our approach departs from the   traditional assessment as it recognises that ecological and social-economic components together form an integrated and dynamic complex system of urban ecosystem health. We intend to recommend ways in which the health and functionality of these ecosystems can be enhanced to support sustainable urban development through the supply of valued and desired ecosystem services. Our case studies are in Abuja Municipal Council in Nigeria and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in South Africa.



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Last Modified: Mon, 08 Nov 2021 10:22:40 SAST