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Spatial Ecological-Economic Analysis for Wetland Management was first published in 2004. Wetlands are very sensitive and valuable ecosystems that are subject to much stress from human activities. The study presented here has developed an innovative triple layer framework for analysis of wetland management. This approach provides support for spatial matching between physical planning, hydrological and ecological processes, and economic activities. The authors describe how integrated modelling at the regional scale can be achieved in practice. Following an introduction to wetlands, theoretical aspects of the contributing disciplines are discussed, as well as various aspects of integrated and spatial modelling. An applied integrated assessment of spatial wetland management for the Vecht area between Amsterdam and Utrecht is then presented. This assessment has resulted in a set of linked hydrological, ecological and economic models, formulated at the level of grids and polders, and various types of evaluations and rankings of scenarios. The results indicate the value of maintaining spatial detail for as long as possible.
2. Wetlands and science
3. Integrated modelling and assessment
4. Theoretical framework and method of integrated study
5. The Vecht area: history, problems and policy
6. Development scenarios for the Vecht area
7. The spatial-ecological model: hydrology and ecology
8. The spatial-economic model: agriculture, nature conservation and outdoor recreation
9. Performance indicators for the evaluation
10. Evaluation of the scenarios
11. Conclusions: policy and research implications
Jeroen van den Bergh is holder of the 2002 Royal/Shell Prize, awarded for academic research on sustainable development and energy in the natural, technological and social sciences. Aat Barendregt is lecturer in Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Geography at Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
"[...] serves as an extremely interesting example of how the various disciplines of wetland study and management may be harnessed to provide informed decisions on the future regional development of wetland areas. [...] interesting reading to anyone who may wish to grasp the complex concepts of environmental decision making."