Wetlands in Nigeria are being rapidly degraded through over exploitation and poor management. This study assesses ecosystem services, drivers of change in wetlands ecosystem, and impacts of those changes on people’s livelihoods through a case study of farming communities around Eleyele wetland in Ibadan, Nigeria. The survey was conducted in three major communities located around the wetland. Data collected through household surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. Findings indicate that respondents derive a total of 12 ecosystem services from the wetland: crop farming; irrigation water; fish farming; drinking water; religious activities among others. Results also revealed both direct and indirect drivers of the change. Direct drivers include siltation, aquatic weeds invasion, erosion, encroachment, changing weather conditions among others while poor management plan were regards as indirect drivers. These were negatively impacting the wetland resulting in reduction of food availability and economic opportunities for the people. Drastic decreases in availability of meat and water availability (drinking), fish stock are outcome of these changes. Respondents’ level education significantly influenced their perception of benefits derived from the wetland. The study recommends more education on wetlands importance, provision of alternative livelihoods, strengthening of existing laws and policies. This will ensure wetlands conservation, sustain provisioning and guarantee food security.
Key words: Wetland, Ecosystem, Ecosystem services, Drivers of change, Livelihoods, Food