Applying the Ecosystem Service Concept to Waterborne Transport Infrastructure
CEDA Dredging Days 2019
A. Boerema, J. Hack, S. E. Apitz A. Boon, A. Cofrancesco, G. de Boer, G. Guannel, D. Hopper, M. Krebs, I. Moulaert, K. Chambers and E. Fuchs
Abstract: Ecosystem Services (ES) are the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. They result from structures, processes and functions within ecosystems performed by natural features and organisms, and which society makes direct use of, consciously or unconsciously. The ES concept results in a general broadening of perspectives considering environmental effects of human activities, as well as their costs and benefits, in an integrated manner. This paper addresses the use and relevance of the Ecosystems Services concept for the Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (WTI) sector. Considering the potential multi-functionality of WTI, well-designed projects can create economic, social and environmental benefits well beyond their intended waterborne transport objectives. When planning a project, the consideration of how project engineering aspects interact with biodiversity, fisheries, recreation and other sectors allows planners and other stakeholders to make well informed decisions about trade-offs and opportunities. The ES concept helps to make these trade-offs visible and integrate these considerations into different stages of the project cycle. Building on a range of case studies, we provide practical guidance on how ES concepts can be successfully applied at different stages of a WTI project, signposting further guidance on how the navigation sector can supportively, beneficially, and profitably use ES concepts to enhance and promote WTI projects.
Keywords: Ecosystem Service, Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, Working with Nature, Nature-based solutions