Takyi, R., El Mahrad, B., Nunoo, F. K. E., Adade, R., ElHadary, M., & Essandoh, J. (2022). Adaptive management of environmental challenges in West African coastal lagoons. Science of The Total Environment, 838, 156234
Takyi, R., El Mahrad, B., Nunoo, F. K. E., Adade, R., ElHadary, M., & Essandoh, J.
Human activities in coastal lagoons over several decades have had a significant impact on their ecology and the valuable ecosystem services they provide. Although there are several management approaches to mitigate the problem, they are unable to link human needs and activities with changes in the state of the environment. This research provides this link via assessment of eleven lagoons in Ghana with a socio-ecological framework (Drivers (D), Activities (A), Pressure (P), State (S), Impact (I) on welfare (W), and Response (R) as a Measure (M); DAPSI(W)R(M)). Data were systematically obtained from relevant publications, previously conducted research, and national reports on the subject and were analyzed using this socio-ecological framework. Results show that basic biological and physiological needs such as food and shelter, social status and dominance, financial self-reliance, and self-actualization are the drivers of fishing, farming, settlements, salt mining, mangrove harvesting, industries, among others. These activities have contributed to pressures of selective extraction of fish and mangroves species, the introduction of heavy metals, organic materials, and smothering of substrates, consequently altering the environment by decreasing the oxygen rate and increasing the biochemical oxygen demand, organic matter, nutrients and pathogens, and reduction in lagoon areas and biodiversity. Thus, ultimately impacting human welfare, such as loss of revenue, employment, and seafood provision. Management options, including addressing the building and fuelwood material sources, afforestation and community ownership of lagoons, the prohibition of construction activities, and research-led management that can support decision-makers to improve the sustainability of these ecosystems, are highlighted. The findings have global implications for guiding local planners and state regulators in the applications of such integrated environmental management.