An Ecosystem Approach:The Route to Alignment AcrossGovernment and its Agencies? Dr Roddy Fairley Programme Manager Scottish Natural Heritage
An Ecosystems Approach+ What is it?+ What do we need it for?+ How do we apply it?
What is an EcosystemsApproach?• “integrated” “cost/benefit” “landscape scale” “multiple benefits” “sustainable”• Ecosystem – what it says on the tin!• Interacting dynamic systems …. complexity, emergence
What is an EcosystemsApproach?• Take account of how nature works: scale, interaction, capacity, thresholds, non linearity, uncertainty• Take account of the benefits nature provides: supporting, regulating, provisioning, cultural• Engage with all the people who enjoy these benefits - values
What do we need anEcosystems Approach for?+ Already embedded (Marine (Scotland) Act, Climate Change (Scotland) Act.+ Land Use Strategy – Objectives, Guidance+ Convention on Biological Diversity; EU Biodiversity Strategy+ UK National Ecosystems Assessment (UKNEA)+ The Economics of Ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB)
What do we need anEcosystems Approach for?+ BUT - As an “approach” it only has traction when applied to a problem and delivers a solution.+ Priorities; National and Local+ Shared agenda across Government+ Unified agenda across outcomes: climate change adaptation, water framework directive, biodiversity targets, forest expansion, NATURA 2000, ecosystem resilience, green- space, green networks, green infrastructure, sustainability.
How do we Apply anEcosystem Approach?+ Scale+ Data / information+ Process – engagement+ Dealing with uncertainty+ Direction rather than destination+ Learning rather than reporting
Ecosystem Services Ecosystem Health / Ecosystem Function Environmental managementPhysical Environment Biodiversity Geodiversity Habitats Water species Air
Applying an EcosystemApproach to build a newagenda+ Build on what has gone before: catchment management (existing institutional structure, stakeholder engagement, comprehensive cover, shared problems, integrative, river “systems”)+ Ecosystem measures – ecosystem health+ Adaptive Management (uncertainty, learning)
Applying an EcosystemApproach to build a newagenda+ Ecosystem Health+ Evidence to make diagnosis+ Analysis to inform prognosis+ Proposals for Treatment
Applying an EcosystemApproach to build a newagenda+ Ecosystem Health – a simple health check? Accept complexity – but need simple place to begin.2. soil quality,3. water quality,4. habitat quality,5. extent of semi-natural land,6. an index of connectivity,7. a measure of diffuse pollution,8. the presence or absence of functional groups,9. some measure of species diversity, and10. a measure of penetration by invasive non-native species.
Applying an EcosystemApproach to build a newagenda+ Assessment of ecosystem health to inform+ National priorities: which in greatest need of remediation/treartment+ National priorities: what is most prevalent/ systemic problem+ Local priorities – what issues matter most in individual catchments+ Local priorities – how do we add value locally
CONCLUSION+ Defined clear priorities – the shared agenda for all of government and its agencies (roles and responsibilities; joined-up)+ Health indicators – assess success of treatment; inform adaptive management+ One simplified agenda for land managers. Increased confidence and success.+ Opportunity for reduced regulation
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