Urban Development and its Implications on Wetland Ecosystem Services in Ndop, Cameroon

Sunday Shende Kometa, Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, Dereck M. Petiangma

Abstract


Wetlands provide a diversity of ecosystem services (provisioning, regulatory, supporting and cultural services) which are essential for the human society. This is particularly necessary in cases where large urban agglomerations exist. These services are increasingly coming under pressure as a result of rapid and uncontrolled urban development which remains phenomenal in the developing world. Cameroon can boast of a number of wetland environments particularly, the Waza Logone flood plain, the wetlands of the Bakassi Peninsula, Lake Barombi Mbo and the Ndop Plains. The wetland ecosystems of the Ndop Plains have increasingly come under pressure as a result of urban development which is mirrored in population growth, housing and other infrastructural developments. While significant research works have been undertaken on aspects related to wetlands, agriculture and climate variability in the Ndop plains, there is insufficiency scientific information on the implications of urban development on wetland ecosystem services. Using questionnaire (where we systematically sample 140 households) and Landsat images which were complemented by field observations, relevant data were generated. With the aid of SPSS (version 21), the correlation between wetland ecosystem services and urban development at 0.05 level of significance was analysed. Our results reveal a significant negative relationship (r = -0.551 and -0.682) between urban development and the state of wetlands and their ecosystem services. This was further buttressed by geospatial data which revealed that the Ndop urban space increased from 3.7km2 in 1999 to 11.7km2 in 2017. In this regard, we suggest that the coordination of the urban development process through land use planning and zoning is imperative in the face of unabated urban development. We equally suggest the need to implement wetland management policies in line with the Ramsar convention’s paradigm on the “wise use” of wetlands.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v7i1.12141

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Copyright (c) 2017 Sunday Shende Kometa, Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, Dereck M. Petiangma

Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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