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How do we know if managed realignment for coastal habitat compensation is successful? : Insights from the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directive in England.

Brady, Abigail and Boda, Chad LU (2016) In Ocean and Coastal Management
Abstract
In England saltmarshes account for less than 0.5% of the land area; however they have a very high biodiversity value and provide significant economic and social services. Climate change, continuous coastal urbanisation and port development are serious concerns for coastal protection planners, city councils and state government agencies interested in balancing the social, economic and environmental needs of these dynamic areas to ensure sustainable development. Providing habitat 'compensation', creating new intertidal habitats to replace those lost to developments and coastal protection schemes via Managed Realignment (MR), has been identified in the UK as the principal way to manage the loss of habitat and prevent biodiversity loss.... (More)
In England saltmarshes account for less than 0.5% of the land area; however they have a very high biodiversity value and provide significant economic and social services. Climate change, continuous coastal urbanisation and port development are serious concerns for coastal protection planners, city councils and state government agencies interested in balancing the social, economic and environmental needs of these dynamic areas to ensure sustainable development. Providing habitat 'compensation', creating new intertidal habitats to replace those lost to developments and coastal protection schemes via Managed Realignment (MR), has been identified in the UK as the principal way to manage the loss of habitat and prevent biodiversity loss. However, the few existing studies that do evaluate the effectiveness of managed realignment projects in England indicate that they are not compensating fully for the original loss of habitat. Through an analysis of scientific and grey literature, conservation legislation, and purposive semi-structured interviews, we sought to ascertain what motivates the continued use of MR for habitat compensation in England, as well as in what ways success is defined by practitioners at various scales. We find that ambiguities in the conservation legislation, inconsistencies regarding definitions and evaluative metrics across scales, and a lack of transparency and reporting in past projects has led to confusion regarding what specifically should be recreated in MR projects for habitat compensation, and how best to instigate it. From this, we argue that to be able to evaluate whether current MR practices in England will actually preserve biodiversity, or contribute to its loss, and thus to ensure consistent and effective monitoring, evaluation and implementation of scientific best practices 1) habitat compensation needs to be rigorously defined; 2) consistent, cross-scalar success criteria and targets for MR projects need to be clearly established; and 3) transparent reporting and evaluation of MR projects by independent agencies should be promoted. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Habitat compensation, Managed realignment, Biodiversity, Conservation, Coastal management
in
Ocean and Coastal Management
pages
11 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85006747012
  • wos:000403737200017
ISSN
1873-524X
DOI
10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.11.013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dc3e2f57-bd2f-420d-bee7-1504852ddc13
date added to LUP
2017-02-27 20:41:41
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:35:53
@article{dc3e2f57-bd2f-420d-bee7-1504852ddc13,
  abstract     = {In England saltmarshes account for less than 0.5% of the land area; however they have a very high biodiversity value and provide significant economic and social services. Climate change, continuous coastal urbanisation and port development are serious concerns for coastal protection planners, city councils and state government agencies interested in balancing the social, economic and environmental needs of these dynamic areas to ensure sustainable development. Providing habitat 'compensation', creating new intertidal habitats to replace those lost to developments and coastal protection schemes via Managed Realignment (MR), has been identified in the UK as the principal way to manage the loss of habitat and prevent biodiversity loss. However, the few existing studies that do evaluate the effectiveness of managed realignment projects in England indicate that they are not compensating fully for the original loss of habitat. Through an analysis of scientific and grey literature, conservation legislation, and purposive semi-structured interviews, we sought to ascertain what motivates the continued use of MR for habitat compensation in England, as well as in what ways success is defined by practitioners at various scales. We find that ambiguities in the conservation legislation, inconsistencies regarding definitions and evaluative metrics across scales, and a lack of transparency and reporting in past projects has led to confusion regarding what specifically should be recreated in MR projects for habitat compensation, and how best to instigate it. From this, we argue that to be able to evaluate whether current MR practices in England will actually preserve biodiversity, or contribute to its loss, and thus to ensure consistent and effective monitoring, evaluation and implementation of scientific best practices 1) habitat compensation needs to be rigorously defined; 2) consistent, cross-scalar success criteria and targets for MR projects need to be clearly established; and 3) transparent reporting and evaluation of MR projects by independent agencies should be promoted.},
  author       = {Brady, Abigail and Boda, Chad},
  issn         = {1873-524X},
  keyword      = {Habitat compensation,Managed realignment,Biodiversity,Conservation,Coastal management},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  pages        = {11},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Ocean and Coastal Management},
  title        = {How do we know if managed realignment for coastal habitat compensation is successful? : Insights from the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directive in England.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.11.013},
  year         = {2016},
}