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Development of a decision support system for LIFE-Nature and similar projects: from trial-and-error to knowledge based nature management
Brouwer, E.; van Duinen, G.-J.; Nijssen, M.; Esselink, H. (2005). Development of a decision support system for LIFE-Nature and similar projects: from trial-and-error to knowledge based nature management, in: Herrier, J.-L. et al. (Ed.) Proceedings 'Dunes and Estuaries 2005': International Conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, Koksijde, Belgium 19-23 September 2005. VLIZ Special Publication, 19: pp. 229-238
In: Herrier, J.-L. et al. (Ed.) (2005). Proceedings 'Dunes and Estuaries 2005': International Conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, Koksijde, Belgium 19-23 September 2005. VLIZ Special Publication, 19. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. XIV, 685 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

Available in  Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Conservation; Dunes; Knowledge; Knowledge; Knowledge; Restoration; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Brouwer, E.
  • van Duinen, G.-J.
  • Nijssen, M.
  • Esselink, H.

Abstract
    The very high environmental pressure on ecosystems increases the need for active nature management. Compared to classic nature conservation this requires a considerable knowledge of ecosystem functioning, in particular about the biotope conditions required by plant and animal species and the biogeochemical processes and hydrology structuring these conditions. The amount of available knowledge on these subjects has increased rapidly and restoration projects are becoming more and more successful. However, recent evaluations show that in a majority of the projects the results are still far from optimal. One of the most frequently occurring reasons for the variable results is a poor availability of essential information to restoration managers. In particular information for analysing the basic problems, setting the right objectives, and planning effective restoration measures is lacking. A decision support system that offers easy access to up-to-date knowledge could help to increase success rates. The main aim of a running LIFE-Nature Co-op project is to develop and test such a tool for coastal dunes and raised bogs and to bring together relevant experience and knowledge on the conservation and restoration of these vulnerable ecosystems. The decision support system will assist site managers to take the proper steps in their nature restoration project: 1) description of the problem and its consequences for the functioning of the ecosystem and the presence of species, 2) analysis of the processes that have caused the problem, 3) selection of the best possible restoration objective, 4) description of restoration measures necessary to achieve the objectives, 5) development of a plan for monitoring the effects of the measures and 6) execution of the measures and monitoring. This decision support system will be accessible via an interactive interface that selects the information relevant to the user’s situation. All essential information will be presented in short texts, supported by pictures of field situations. Furthermore, links to relevant literature and to field examples will be present. The latter refers to a list of recently carried out and ongoing projects, including addresses of the responsible authorities. The tool will be freely accessible on a website and can be easily updated with new knowledge and experience. Thus, an easy exchange of essential knowledge and experience is stimulated.

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