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Sustainable wetland management is a focus of many countries worldwide. These mainly use protection as a key policy directive for conservation. However, avoidance directives tend to disenfranchise local populations. Thus, such management is often resisted and rarely effective. Tailoring management strategies to user preferences allows conservation to support community livelihoods for sustainable development. This study employed a discrete choice experiment to determine the wetland management attributes preferred by residents of Mpologoma catchment as a prelude to developing a co-management system.