Using the ecosystem services concept to analyse stakeholder involvement in wetland management
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- Cohen-Shacham, E., Dayan, T., de Groot, R. et al. Wetlands Ecol Manage (2015) 23: 241. doi:10.1007/s11273-014-9375-1
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Wetland management usually involves multiple stakeholders. This paper describes how the use of the ecosystem services (ES) concept can help to identify the main stakeholders associated with wetland conservation, using the Hula Wetland in the Sea of Galilee’s watershed as a case study. We conducted a stakeholder analysis based on semi-structured interviews. We focused on the management of two semi-natural areas within the larger Hula Wetland area (Hula Nature Reserve and Agamon), in which different management regimes are used and which provide different bundles of ES to different stakeholders. Using the ES concept in the stakeholder analysis, we were able to present the Hula Wetland management in a comprehensive manner. The approach also revealed a lack of coordination between the managing organisations which might lead to competition favouring cultural services (in particular tourism) at the expense of habitat services (i.e. biodiversity conservation) in the future. To test our method we also conducted a stakeholder analysis in the Camargue Wetland in France. The two wetlands have similar characteristics but are embedded in different institutional contexts. The Camargue Regional Park has a multi-stakeholder platform which could serve as an example for the Hula Wetland to improve its management and lead to better coordination and complementarity of ES provided by the two sub-sites. Our study showed that applying the ES concept helps to quickly identify relevant stakeholders and analyse wetland management in a more holistic way and to point towards sustainable solutions for conflicting stakeholder interests.