Universität Bonn

INRES Pflanzenbau

GlobE - Wetlands East Africa

Wetlands in East Africa: Reconciling future food production with environmental protection


Food production in many East African areas shows stagnating or declining trends mainly due to negative effects of demographic growth, land degradation and increasing climate variability. Wetlands, on the other hand, are characterized by year-round water availability, high resource base quality and hence present potential hotspots for food production. They cover 20 million ha in the four target countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda) with only a small proportion currently being used. We surmise that these wetlands become the breadbasket of the region. An increased food production from these wetlands can however only be achieved if intensified land use can be reconciled with the conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecosystem services.

A consortium composed of partners from several countries in East-Africa and research groups from the universities of Bonn, Cologne, and Mainz as well as Jülich Research Centre assesses the wetlands’ contribution to food security along climatic and social gradients. We study the spatial-temporal dynamics of matter fluxes, their underlying processes and assess technical options for enhancing production while considering ecosystem services. Modeling and various assessment tools are employed for cross-disciplinary, cross-scale integration and regional projections under different global change scenarios. The integration of actors from development and policy agencies into the research process ensures the application of the findings both within the region studied and beyond.

The crop science group analyzes yield-gap data of the major economic crops of East-Africa and parametrizes corresponding crop models for scenario analyses under jointly defined boundary conditions. These models will serve as an important basis for developing management and technology options as well conduction of impact assessment studies in the field. Integrating the results of the collaborating working groups and scaling exercises are the key contributions to the consortium and form the basis for regional scenario analyses and policy recommendations.

Division of the project into work clusters and their respective disciplinary areas. © LAP

Persons in charge

Matthias Langensiepen





Cooperating partners

Coordination: Plant Nutrition Group, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn,
Africa Rice,
several partners at University of Bonn,
University of Cologne,
University of Dar es Salaam,
Jülich Research Centre,
Kenyatta University, Kenya,
University of Mainz,
Makarere University, Kampala, Uganda,
Nairobi University, Kenya,
National Agricultural Research Organization of Uganda,
National Museums of Kenya,
Rwanda Environmental Management Authority



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