|National Policy for the Conservation and Management of Wetland Resources (Ministry of Natural Resources - Uganda, 1995, 23 p.)|
These guidelines are intended for persons proposing to use wetlands, for purposes of increasing the production of food and other goods and services. All users of wetlands are reminded that wetlands are a national resource and that the principles of environmentally sound management and sustainable use, as declared in the National Policy for Wetland Resource Management, must be applied to such use, and as defined herein.
No Drainage of wetlands
Drainage may be defined as the artificial large scale removal or exclusion of water from a wetland, which lowers the water table so that it does not rise to the soil surface. This practice radically alters the potential of the wetland and destroys its function as a natural regulator of water flow and storage. It is recognised that in the interest of the other principles listed, some modifications of water may be necessary.
Definition of Sustainable Use of Wetlands
Sustainable use is defined as the practice of wetland utilisation which will ensure that the production of goods or services derived from that use, are available at the same level in perpetuity For example, yields from a fishing activity should be set at a level that can be maintained for the foreseeable future. i.e. sustainably
Environmentally Sound Management
A key issue in the management of any resource is whether that management causes adverse effects on the environment.
For example, the production of bricks from clay soil in a wetland leads to destruction and deforestation around the brick-making kilns, which is environmentally damaging and therefore unsound However, the smoking offish caught near a wetland, using papyrus briquettes or in semi-dried form, for fuel may be environmentally sound and will avoid the depletion of wood fuel supplies in the area.
Optimum diversity of use and users
Maintaining a diversity of traditional uses, and perhaps adding new uses where appropriate, means that the diversity of fauna and flora are retained in the wetland. This in turn will optimise the harvestable yield and ensure flexibility for later adaptations to changing circumstances
Development through Environment Impact Assessment.
An Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is a detailed technical document which determines the legally binding environmental management measures to be incorporated into an economic development programme. EIAs will be carried out by people knowledgeable in practical aspects of wetland management and the relevant economic and sociological aspects of the development. The administration of EIAs will be an important activity of environmental management.