Integrating ecological knowledge with legal instruments for nature conservation in river management
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Nijmegen : [S.n.]
Number of pages
RU, Environmental Science, 10 november 2006
Promotor : Nienhuis, P.H. Co-promotores : Leuven, R.S.E.W., Lenders, H.J.R.
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Legal instruments for nature conservation make knowledge on actual and potential presence of protected and endangered species in river floodplain ecosystems an important issue in river management. Within river management, many physical reconstruction and management plans are currently being carried out and planned. The expected effects on biodiversity are massive and can be positive as well as negative. Huge amounts of ecological knowledge will be required to do the legally obligatory assessments. Ecology and legislation are two crucial frameworks for nature conservation in river management. In this thesis, a model that can integrate ecological knowledge with legal instruments for nature conservation in river management is developed, evaluated and applied. The relation between ecological knowledge and legal instruments is studied by analysing goals, approaches towards nature and species selection and terminology of the two frameworks. Based on the results of the study it is concluded that BIO-SAFE is an operational and scientifically underpinned model for integration of ecological knowledge and information with legal instruments for nature conservation in river management, that provides useful information in evaluation studies, is valid for impact assessments and insensitive to value judgements. Application of the model showed the effects of river management measures on actual and potential presence of protected and endangered river species. The measures taken can be optimised by increasing the spatial scale, and using detailed knowledge on local potentials. When landscape heterogeneity is maximized and low and intermediate dynamic circumstances are conserved and developed, nature conservation can be combined with flood risk reduction and ecological rehabilitation. The ecological and the legal framework for nature conservation have different goals, criteria for making valid claims and approaches towards nature and species selection. However, there are various opportunities for bridging the gaps in practice, e.g. in jurisprudence, management plans, codes of conduct and effect studies.
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