Efficiency, Sustainability and Equity in Ecosystem Management
Chapter 3: A Quantitative Ecological–Economic Assessment Approach
3. 3.1 A quantitative ecological–economic assessment approach A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSING ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT OPTIONS This chapter presents a quantitative, dynamic framework for ecological– economic assessment and modelling of ecosystem management options. The framework can be used to assess the efficiency, sustainability and equity aspects of ecosystem management options, while accounting for the complex dynamics of ecosystems, and is visualised in Figure 3.1. The interactions presented in the framework need to be expressed in monetary terms when their impact on the economy is studied, and in biological or physical units when their interactions with the ecosystem are studied. The framework includes four types of management measures: (1) the use or harvest of ecosystem services; (2) pollution control, e.g. by applying waste-water treatment; (3) managing land cover; and (4) other, direct interventions in the ecosystem. Each measure corresponds to a decision variable. These measures, in combination with ecological processes, determine the dynamics of the ecosystem – which can proceed according to different ecological models. Subsequent changes in the state of the ecosystem influence its capacity to supply ecosystem services. The total welfare supplied by the ecosystem is a function of the net benefits provided by ecosystem services, and the costs of pollution control, ecosystem interventions and managing land cover change. When the figure is applied, the various management options, the dynamics of the ecosystem, and ecosystem services supply need to be quantified for the specific ecosystem involved. The different elements of the framework are elaborated below. In Figure 3.1, the ecosystem changes...
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