Status, Threats and Management of Wetlands in the Lake Tana Sub-basin: A Review
Keywords:Ecological status, Ecosystem services, Wetland distribution
Wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems that play significant role in providing multiple ecosystem services. They are the heart of the landscape, which serve as natural filters for the world’s wastewater with no cost and biological supermarkets that contain miscellaneous biodiversity. In the Lake Tana Sub-basin, majority of the wetlands distributed along the tributaries and around the lake shores and estimated to cover 2.14% of its total surface area. The wetlands in the Lake Tana Sub-basin support many endemic and globally threatened fish species as well as wintering site for world`s migratory birds. Regardless of their importance, the Lake Tana Sub-basin wetlands are under great pressure. The major anthropogenic threats are recession agriculture, unplanned urbanization, rapid population growth, indiscriminate industrial and development activities, disposal of
domestic and industrial toxic wastes and free grazing. Many people in the lake sub-basin still now considered wetlands as unhealthy that are breeding places for disease vectors. Development activities in Lake Sub-basin very rarely consider the ecological and socio-economic values of wetlands and wetland destruction and conversion for the purpose of recession agriculture is still seen as advanced mode of development. Therefore, to halt these problems and to use the wetland resources sustainably, integrated problem solving approaches such as collaboration among the relevant stakeholders, public awareness creation, formulation and implementation of wetland policy, implementation of biosphere reserve and ratifying the Ramsar Convention are vital. Furthermore, in-depth research regarding the status and challenges of wetlands in the Lake Tana Sub-basin should be conducted.