Use marketing strategies to increase the value of marshes or swamps
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
This action includes various specific actions that could increase the value of marshes/swamp or their products through marketing, advertising, branding or certification schemes. For example, in Kenya, certification of Nyando Wetland honey by the Kenya Bureau of Standards added credibility to the brand and increased demand (Raburu et al. 2012). In theory, this action could strengthen economic arguments to protect marshes and swamps. Increasing the value of products could also reduce the amount of habitat that must be used to provide a sustainable income, or even encourage creation of new habitat areas. Creating an emblem or brand for a marsh or swamp could directly generate income through licensing (e.g. for use on clothing), and indirectly increase the value of the site for tourism (van der Duim & Henkens 2007; Chellan et al. 2013).
Caution: Marketing could also have negative effects on marshes and swamps. For example, if marsh or swamp products become more valuable, there may be greater incentive for people to harvest or exploit these habitats.
To be clear, studies would be summarized as evidence for this action if the marketing is substantially related to marshes and swamps, even if it involves other wetland habitats (e.g. peatlands), aquatic habitats (e.g. rivers and lakes) or upland habitats (e.g. forests).
Related actions: Designate protected area, including areas that allow sustainable use of marshes or swamps.
Chellan N., Mtshali M. & Khan S. (2013) Rebranding the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park in South Africa: reflections on benefits and challenges for the former of St Lucia. Journal of Human Ecology, 43, 17–28.
Raburu P.O., Okeyo-Owuour J.B. & Kwena F. (2012) Community Based Approach to the Management of Nyando Wetland, Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. KDC/VIRED/UNDP Report.
van der Duim R. & Henkens R. (2007) Wetlands, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Tourism Development: Opportunities and Constraints. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 2004–2007 in southern Vietnam (Triet 2010) reported that helping local people to sell handicrafts made from marsh plants in tourist markets, along with training to improve the quality of products, increased income. Statistical significance was not assessed. Before intervention, the average income of people making products from grey sedge Lepironia articulata was 8,000–10,000 VND/day. Mat-makers earned around 5,000 VND/day. After running the marketing and training scheme for three years, the average income had doubled (data not reported). Mat-makers now earned 30,000 VND/day. Handbag-makers now earned 50,000 VND/day. The study also reported a reduction in human disturbance and encroachment during the scheme, but this was not quantified. Methods: Between 2004 and 2007, the Phu My project aimed to facilitate sustainable use of the Ha Tien marshes by helping to locals to sell handicrafts in tourist areas, and training locals to make higher quality goods. It was hoped that higher quality products (requiring fewer raw materials) and higher incomes (from selling in tourist areas) would reduce harvesting pressure and pressure to convert the marshes to other land uses. The study does not distinguish between the effects of marketing and training. It also does not report further details of the marketing, training or income estimation.Study and other actions tested