The Ecosystem Approach (EA) to environmental management aims to enhance human well-being within a linked social and cological system, through protecting the delivery of benefits and services to society from ecosystems in the face of external pressures such as climate change. However, our lack of understanding of the linkages between the human and natural components of ecosystems inhibits the implementation of the EA for policy decision-making. Coastal wetland systems provide many benefits and ecosystem services to humans, including nutrient recycling, climate and water quality regulation, timber, fuel and fibre, but they are under considerable threat from population pressure and climate change. In this chapter, we review the ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands, and the threats to these services. We then present a new integrative conceptual framework to underpin the EA. The framework is divided into three sub-systems: one relating to ecosystem functions, one to ecosystem services, and one to social evelopment and well-being. The pathways linking these sub-systems represent transfers of state, for example, ecosystem functions being transferred into ecosystem services, or ecosystem services being transferred into benefits. The focus of our approach is on enhancing the magnitude and efficiency of these transfers,by introducing or making use of any existing catalysts and overcoming any constraints in the system. The framework represents a dynamic system for implementing the EA in which interventions can be planned and managed in an adaptive way.
|Title of host publication||Ecosystem Services|
|Subtitle of host publication||Issues in Environmental Science and Technology|
|Editors||R M Harrison , R E Hester|
|Publisher||Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain)|
|Number of pages||23|
|ISBN (Print)||1849730180 , 978-1849730181|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jun 2010|