Analysing ecosystem services at watershed scale: implications for conservation in Upper Kikuletwa Sub-Catchment, Tanzania

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Catchment forests perform myriad ecological functions including provision of ecosystem services. They are, however, increasingly degraded due to anthropogenic activities in such a way their capacity to regulate and supply watershed services is significantly dwindling. We carried out this study in order to identify and document ecosystem goods and services in Upper Kikuletwa Sub-Catchment, Tanzania. A structured questionnaire was administered so as to solicit socio-economic data. Qualitative data was collected through group focus discussions and formal and informal interviews. Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to compare means and MS excel was applied to generate figures. T-test and one-way ANOVA was applied to test the variation between location and across villages. Wild fruits, vegetables, grasses, birds, mushrooms are the ecosystem goods available in the area. Ecosystem services encompass control of soil erosion, climate regulation, water flow regulation, production of hydroelectricity, water purification, etc. The reason for WTP was people’s reliance on irrigated agriculture. We concluded that sustainable supply of ecosystem goods and services in depends largely on how forests and watersheds are conserved. Therefore, we recommend designing of a feasible PWS scheme that could ensure increased and sustainable supply ecosystem goods and services especially water flow for irrigated agriculture.



Watershed scale, Upper Kikuletwa Sub-Catchment, Tanzania, Ecosystem services, Catchment forests, Forest ecosystem conservation