Economics and Ecosystems
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Economics and Ecosystems

Efficiency, Sustainability and Equity in Ecosystem Management

Lars Hein

Economics and Ecosystems demonstrates how the concepts of economic efficiency, sustainability and equity can be applied in ecosystem management. The book presents an overview of these three concepts, a framework for their analysis and modelling, and three case studies. Specific attention is given to how complex ecosystem dynamics, such as thresholds or irreversible responses, influence ecosystem management options. The case studies focus on ecosystem dynamics and ecosystem services supply in a forest ecosystem, a Dutch wetland, and a rangeland in the Western Sahel.
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Chapter 7: Applying the Framework in Support of Environmental Management

Lars Hein


INTRODUCTION This chapter provides a brief overview of how a dynamic systems ecosystem assessment approach can be applied in support of environmental management. Based on the findings of the case studies, the chapter first presents a short review of (1) how the approach can be used to analyse the efficiency, sustainability and equity impacts of environmental management options; and (2) the implications of complex ecosystem dynamics for environmental management. Subsequently, a brief discussion is presented on how the approach may be used in support of a number of environmental management tools, in particular, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Cost–Benefit Analysis and spatial planning. In line with the focus of the book, the chapter zooms in on environmental management at the scale of the ecosystem, excluding issues at different scales such as climate change and urban environmental issues such as water supply and sanitation. 7.2 ANALYSING ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT OPTIONS 7.2.1 Analysing the Efficiency of Ecosystem Management The economic efficient option is the option that provides maximum net benefits, given a certain objective function, and including the benefits of all services supplied by the ecosystem and the costs involved in providing or accessing these services. Costs include, for instance, the costs of imposing and enforcing maximum harvest levels, or investment, operation and maintenance costs of pollution control measures (e.g. Hueting, 1980). The two important elements in the calculation of the benefits of ecosystem management options are: (1) quantification of the flows of ecosystem services; and (2) ecosystem services valuation. Whereas ecosystem...

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