Exploring the Influence of the Interaction of Climate Change, Manmade Threats and COVID-19 on the Livelihoods of Wetland Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa

  •  Toundji Olivier Amoussou    
  •  Sarah Edore Edewor    
  •  Yaye Deffa Wane    
  •  Chibuye Florence Kunda-Wamuwi    
  •  Donissongou Dimitri Soro    


Wetlands are very important because of the wide range of ecosystem services they provide. Despite their ecological, social and environmental importance, these ecosystems are threatened and fragmented under the combined effects of climate change (CC) and man-made activities (MMA). Such a state of things could be exacerbated by the advent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with its many implications. In order to help decision-makers take good decisions, the combined effect of CC, MMA and COVID-19 on the livelihoods of communities around wetland ecosystems have been reviewed based on available scientific knowledge. First, we analyzed the different concepts and theories underlying the wetlands-related studies and then summarized the merits and demerits of the different methodologies underlying wetland studies. The empirical evidences that exist in previous literatures have been highlighted. Similarly, common livelihood strategies for wetland communities in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have been highlighted. The diversity of wetlands’ functions and services makes them a source of livelihood, food security and poverty alleviation for riverside communities. However, these communities lack the knowledge and awareness to understand the impact of their activities and CC on their livelihoods. The review also helped to identify that, out of the three factors investigated, the livelihoods of rural wetland dwellers in SSA are mostly influenced by CC and MMA. However, climate change and COVID-19 remain life-altering transboundary threats that extend in space and time, with large uncertainties on wetlands communities livelihoods.

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