Sustainable wetland management in the face of climate risks in Niger: the case of La Mare de Tabalak

Sustainable wetland management in the face of climate risks in Niger: the case of La Mare de Tabalak

Report outlining a comprehensive climate risk management study of a wetland in Niger

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) recently implemented climate risk management studies in seven countries. This report, commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, gives a detailed summary of efforts in a Niger wetland environment to conduct one such study, incorporating climate change with three key sectors: agriculture, livestock and water resources. A number of workshops, consultations, capacity building exercises and working group meetings preceded and comprised the studies' implementation, including interviews, focus groups, socioeconomic questionnaires, field surveys and hydrological modelling. The wetlands of La Mare de Tabalak were chosen as the study site for its social, cultural, economic and environmental importance, and its vulnerability to climate change. It also had data available and a closed water system; a large pond that would fill in the wet season providing a number of roles for the community.

This report contextualises the study with a development and climate profile, and the climate risks and impacts for the specific wetland. It then describes the existing national institutions, policies and initiatives. The report highlights that coordinated action is imperative to protect the pond and the wider-basin. The following recommendations are provided:

  • promote diversification of revenue-generating activities
  • create an ongoing system to monitor and survey environmental and socioeconomic conditions
  • environmental restoration must be accelerated to extend the lifespan of the pond and curb erosion and silting
  • diversification of livelihoods requires continued support to ensure access to natural resources
  • outreach, training and knowledge/technology sharing must all be used to build the capacity of actors at all levels
  • governance is advised to finalise and adopt the national wetlands policy, and to consolidate efforts and develop synergies between this and existing policies.
The report closes with a note on areas for further research, including the need for a gender analysis, a survey of the pond’s bathymetry curve, socioeconomic scenarios and the impact of reservoir infrastructure on sediment transport to the pond.
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