A Review on: The Importance, Distribution and Threat of Ethiopian Wetlands

Feto Haji


Ethiopia, like as many countries in the world, has immense wetland resources. The wetlands in Ethiopia include many forms such as lakes, swamps, marshy wetlands, peat wetlands, flood plains, high mountain lakes, natural and manmade ponds. These wetlands have been contributing for the well-being of many Ethiopians for generations and still they are contributing and this will continue for years in the future. Wetlands, according to the Ramsar Convention are defined as “areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water as, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or salt including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters”. In Ethiopia there are large areas of wetlands which are distributed in various parts of the country almost all altitudinal ranges from lowland (the Dallol depression) up to top of high mountains. Wetlands are of enormous socioeconomic and environmental values and attract a number of users that get benefited directly or indirectly. They are source of water, food, reed, medicinal plants and other income generating activities for the rural community.Wetlands generally classified into 3 major classes: freshwater, saltwater and manmade wetlands According to the FAO in 1984, two types of wetlands (swamps and marshes) dominate in Ethiopia and some studies show that based on scattered information, wetlands are estimated to cover about 2% of the total land mass of the country. Though wetlands in the country is poorly studied and recorded more than 40 wetlands are identified as important bird areas for the nation, and these sites support some of the endemic bird life and biodiversity of Ethiopia. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the importance, distribution and threats to wetlands of Ethiopia.

Keywords: Wetland, Ramsar convention, wetland management, threat

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/9-6-02

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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