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Role of water in ecological-social systems

Research Achievements

Role of water in ecological-social systems

Gregory Parent, a natural resource economics major, lead a group of AMw3-IGERT trainees who are conducting research in northern Botswana and Namibia related to the role of water in integrated ecological-social systems. The study in the Mayuni Conservancy in the Caprivi Strip, Namibia involved students, faculty and citizens from Namibia. The research uncovered the structure of the rural southern African economy and investigated the relationship between water access and household ability to participate in the market economy. Findings indicate that villages have little internal commerce and rely on distant urban centers to conduct the majority of their purchases. The lack of internal commerce reduces the multiplier effect that tourism produces through direct or indirect income impacts. Much of the potential wildlife tourism benefit is leaked to urban centers in the form of expenditure for goods. Furthermore, households residing further from water points had a reduced impact from tourism.