PhD Student in Geography and Planning at University of Bamenda, Cameroon
Research focus: wetlands mutation, ecosystem service valuation, governance, and sustainability
Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services to humans, including carbon sequestration, which is extremely relevant in the context of global warming. Yet, they are being degraded at an unprecedented scale. Therefore, there is an urgent need to review wetland management to develop a local approach to wetland conservation and wise use.
In his research, Chrispo Babila analyses the temporal and spatial dynamics of wetland mutation. He examines the valuation of wetland ecosystem services, assesses current wetland management, and explores the impacts of wetland mutation. His aim is to develop a local management concept for wetlands that focuses on sustainable use and conservation.
Chrispo Babila employed remote sensing and a geographic information system (GIS) to determine wetland dynamics from 1992 to 2022. This showed that there is a trend of continuous degradation and, therefore, a need for sustainable wetland management. In addition, he is also using documentary reviews, expert interviews, and field survey methods to gain a deeper understanding of current approaches to wetland conservation. He is currently focussing on examining local and indigenous peoples’ valuation of wetland ecosystem services, which is often neglected in economic valuation methods. Based on this, he is developing a tool for the valuation of wetland ecosystem services. The tool and integrated approach are a novelty in Cameroon. This directly enhances existing conservation efforts and, thus, sustainable wetland management in Bamenda.
As such, his research is linked to the sustainable development agenda, in particular UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 (Life on Land). The sustainable management of wetlands also contributes to achieving SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), i.e. Target 12.2 (Sustainable Management and Efficient Use of Natural Resources) through a locally adapted approach that also contributes to the achievement of SDG 2 (Zero Hunger). The tool he develops also ensures local peoples’ engagement in decision-making related to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). This facilitates the integration of climate change measures into national policies, leading to SDG 13 (Climate Action).
A very dedicated young scientist, Chrispo Babila was recognised by the jury for his studies on wetland management, a very important topic. The wetland ecosystem services assessment tool he is developing offers a new way to better incorporate the interests of local and indigenous people into wetland management.
The research of Babila mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12, 13, 15, 16:
Take a look at this video that briefly introduces Babila and his research: