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Satyanarayana B.,Roosevelt University | Satyanarayana B.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Satyanarayana B.,University of Malaysia, Terengganu | Bhanderi P.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | And 11 more authors.
Ambio | Year: 2012

Although mangroves dominated by Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle are extending over 6000 ha in the Tanbi Wetland National Park (TWNP) (The Gambia), their importance for local populations (both periurban and urban) is not well documented. For the first time, this study evaluates the different mangrove resources in and around Banjul (i.e., timber, non-timber, edible, and ethnomedicinal products) and their utilization patterns, including the possibility of ecotourism development. The questionnaire-based results have indicated that more than 80% of peri-urban population rely on mangroves for timber and non-timber products and consider them as very important for their livelihoods. However, at the same time, urban households demonstrate limited knowledge on mangrove species and their ecological/economic benefits. Among others, fishing (including the oyster-Crassostrea cf. gasar collection) and tourism are the major incomegenerating activities found in the TWNP. The age-old practices of agriculture in some parts of the TWNP are due to scarcity of land available for agriculture, increased family size, and alternative sources of income. The recent focus on ecotourism (i.e., boardwalk construction inside the mangroves near Banjul city) received a positive response from the local stakeholders (i.e., users, government, and non-government organizations), with their appropriate roles in sharing the revenue, rights, and responsibilities of this project. Though the guidelines for conservation and management of the TWNP seem to be compatible, the harmony between local people and sustainable resource utilization should be ascertained. copyright; Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012. Source

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