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Managing Wetlands

An Ecological Economics Approach

Edited by R. Kerry Turner, Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh and Roy Brouwer

The extensive destruction of wetlands across Europe represents a significant loss of biodiversity along with its related economic, cultural, ethical and scientific benefits. This volume addresses the critical issues surrounding this environmental change process, employing a range of analytical methods drawn from a variety of disciplines which bridge the social and natural science divide.
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Chapter 11: Spatial Hydro-Ecological and Economic Modelling of Land Use Changes in Wetlands

J.C.J.M. van den Bergh, A. Barendregt, A. Gilbert, M. van Herwijnen, P. van Horssen and P. Kandelaars


1 J.C.J.M. van den Bergh, A. Barendregt, A. Gilbert, M. van Herwijnen, P. van Horssen, P. Kandelaars and C. Lorenz 1 INTRODUCTION Various studies have tried to study wetlands by integrating elements from hydrology and ecology, and from ecology and economics. Different approaches are presented by Barbier et al. (1994), Barendregt et al. (1992), Gilbert and Janssen (1998), Turner et al. (1998) and Brouwer et al. (1999). Nevertheless, integrating elements of the three fields in a single study, as reported in this chapter, is less common. General discussions as well as surveys of integrated modelling and evaluation of ecosystem management are offered by van den Bergh (1996), Braat and van Lierop (1987), Costanza et al. (1993), and Zuchetto and Jansson (1985). The present study integrates information, concepts and models from social and natural sciences to analyse and evaluate land-use scenarios for the Vecht area (‘De Vechtstreek’) in the Netherlands. The groundwater table reaches the surface almost everywhere throughout this region. Typical wetland vegetation is found both in areas under agricultural use and natural areas. The approach followed is based on explicit spatial scenario formulation, modelling and evaluation. A valuation study was, however, considered too difficult, given the size and heterogeneity of the area. Valuation studies seem more suitable for smaller, more homogeneous areas (Gren et al., 1994; Turner et al., 1998). This chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 provides the context for the study area, including a description of its present situation, its historical development, the problems it faces,...

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