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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 12: Conclusions

R.K. Turner, J.C.J.M. van den Bergh and R. Brouwer


R.K. Turner, J.C.J.M. van den Bergh and R. Brouwer 1 INTRODUCTION At the wetland ecosystem level, the work included in this volume has confirmed that a coherent set of links between wetland boundary conditions, structure, processes, functions and consequent outputs of goods and services from which humans derive both use and non-use value can be established. The precise quantification and valuation of multiple wetland functions and outputs is not, however, straightforward. Function overlap (a double counting problem) and the difficulties surrounding the setting of wetland system boundaries are examples of some of the individual problems that have to be overcome. The unravelling of the complexities involved has required an interdisciplinary research effort based on team work and the deployment of a ‘mixed’ evaluation methodology (see Chapter 2). Coupled natural science models have been augmented by socio-economic analysis in order to investigate a range of wetland management issues in different locations and across different scales. Environmental change scenarios have also been utilized to introduce an element of dynamism to the analysis. Most wetland management contexts in Europe involve value, user or interest group conflicts of one sort or another. These conflicts are conditioned by prevailing and prospective policy regimes and the related policy networks. Institutional analysis and stakeholder/interest group mapping exercises are therefore important prerequisites for any decision-aiding toolbox and process (see Figure 12.1). The integrated ecological–economic analysis has made it possible to identify how particular wetland functions might be of use, rather than simply the degree to which the...

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