An analysis of communities’ attitudes towards wetlands and implications for sustainability

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Wetlands provide a range of environmental, cultural and economic values, however, despite this they continue to be degraded and destroyed at an alarming rate. As a result, protection and conservation of the remaining wetlands is significant. An understanding on the attitudes of the people living in the peripheral of wetlands is crucial for conservation and management of wetlands. The aim of the study was to analyse communities’ attitudes towards wetlands and the implications for sustainability at Duthuni Village falling under the Vhembe District in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Door-to-door surveys were undertaken from 29 July to the end of October 2020 during which interview-administered questionnaires were used to collect data. Systematic random sampling was used to obtain a sample of 312 households from the target households of 1 655. Data obtained from questionnaires was analysed using descriptive statistics and this helped to generate frequencies up to 100% from the responses. The study showed that wetlands play a significant role in the lives of people as sources of water for domestic and irrigation purposes, important areas for fishing, harvesting of plant resources for roofing and handcraft production, crop production and valuable land for grazing purposes. The study revealed that the majority of respondents (98.1%; n = 306) in the study area had positive attitudes towards wetlands and wetlands conservation. Motivation for wetlands conservation tended to be ethical, with 67.6% (n = 211) of local communities willing to donate money for wetlands conservation, and 83% (n = 259) willing to vote for a councillor who promised to protect wetlands. It is concluded that the positive attitude of communities toward wetland conservation offers some hope for sustainable utilisation of wetlands.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01604
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Agriculture
  • Ecosystem services
  • Human activities
  • Perception
  • Rehabilitation
  • Resource use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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