WadBOS: Integrating Knowledge to Support Policy-making for the Wadden Sea

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Abstract

WadBOS version 2 is a decision support system featuring an integrated model representing the ecological and the economic functions of the Wadden Sea in an explicitly dynamic and spatial manner. Sub-models represent processes operating at three time scales: the tidal cycle, monthly and yearly; and spatial processes operating at three spatial scales: the whole sea, 12 relatively homogeneous compartments within the sea, and small cellular units of 25 hectares each. The WadBOS system relies heavily on GIS information for its inputs, but its models need economic, demographic and ecological data from other sources. WadBOS has been developed for use by policy-makers working in isolation or in a group setting. A lot of effort has gone into its user-friendly character, its interactive capabilities, the (geo)graphical representation of its input and dynamic output, and its transparency. The system is most instrumental in analytical exercises, but its use for communication, learning, and storage of knowledge is nearly as important.