Chapter 14: Water security and environmental water needs: the role of the ecosystem services concept and transformation of governance systems
This chapter elaborates on the trade-offs between human water security on the one hand and environmental water needs on the other. Thereby it is crucial to take into account economic interests and livelihoods especially of poor communities. In most countries, economic considerations prevail over environmental requirements often resulting in the degradation of ecosystems which in turn affects in particular marginal groups and destroys livelihoods. The major governance challenge is the prevailing fragmentation of institutional settings, which is illustrated for different dimensions of water security. The ecosystem services concept is introduced as a bridging concept to support integration of fragmented institutional settings and to support negotiation about water security trade-offs within a guiding logic and an integrative framework. The chapter identifies requirements for environmental governance to move towards development trajectories which enhance human water security without jeopardizing environmental water needs.
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