A natural ecosystem provides more than a residence for biodiversity. It supports humankind with a multitude of resources and functions, so-called ecosystem services. In short, ecosystem services sustain development and development impacts on ecosystem services.
In 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of the United Nations showed the status and health of over half of worlds’ ecosystem services to be in decline. Many people, communities and businesses depend on these ecosystem services. When they deteriorate further they may face a number of risks.
To address the complexity of natural processes and social systems Deltares develops and applies specific knowledge and techniques that support the integrity of water and land systems while safeguarding the sustainability of both human and natural systems and all the sources and benefits they provide us now and in the future. In other words, knowledge and techniques that allow for adaptive management approaches in the face of uncertainties and that prepare our clients to respond to or identify risks and opportunities related to the ecosystem services.
Our method involves the integrated application of three key-principles:
Be well informed:
A sound understanding of ecosystem functioning in relation to social systems is the basis for sustainable management.
We learn-by-doing as social/ecological systems are complex, dynamic and respond in unexpected ways.
Take a participatory approach:
We involve stakeholders in management and enable them to exchange their views and bring their knowledge to the table.
- Fundamental understanding of the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and their services
- Fundamental understanding of their response to perturbations
- Quantification of, and trade-off between, ecosystem services
- Governance of ecosystems and sustainable use of their services
- Engagement of multiple stakeholders in a collaborative process to define problems and find solutions
- Risk-based management
- Suzanne van der Meulen, Victor Langenberg
- +31 (0)88 335 7730/+31 (0)88 335 8056
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