Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

 
1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization R. D. Smith and E. Maltby. (2003). Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key Issues and Case Studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x +118 pp.
Project Title Large-scale ecosystem health study of the Langat Basin, Malaysia
Date of Publication
Project Status Completed
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Malaysia
Regions
Funding Source
 
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement The project developed a basin-wide perspective of relationships between the environment and development. It used the ecosystem approach to determine the status of biological diversity and the threats to it from loss of forests and wildlife habitats and pollution of rivers in the Langat Basin.
Project Description An integrated multi-disciplinary study of the Langat Basin was commissioned to facilitate and promote the ecosystem approach as a basis for environmental planning and management in the long term. The Langat Basin has been the focus of much rapid and large-scale physical and economic development. Since the early 1970s, large areas of land with natural cover have been lost to agricultural development, industrialization and urbanization. The resulting ecological and environmental degradation has had a considerable effect on the status and sustainability of biological diversity in many regions of the basin. The project successfully delineated and identified those areas of primary concern for biological diversity conservation. It also contributed to a thorough understanding of the driving forces behind biodiversity loss and how they relate to the trends in industrialization and urbanization that prevail in the basin. The relationships between loss of natural areas high in biological diversity and population growth, land-use change, mineral resource exploitation and river pollution have been described and modeled. A pilot version of an ecosystem scenario tool has been developed that allows potential ecosystem scenarios in the basin to be visualized for use by policy-and decision-makers.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach · From the outset the project was planned and executed as a multi-disciplinary study using the ecosystem health framework for analyses. It involved the participation of specialists in aquatic and terrestrial species inventories, ecologists, botanists, zoologists, geologists and soil scientists, sociologists and economists.· The study area was delineated into three ecological zones based on their physiognomy, geomorphology and edaphic characteristics.· Maintaining ecosystem integrity across the basin was a high-priority objective of the management recommendations. · Conservation of ecosystem structure and function, and the contribution of biological diversity to them, was emphasized during the duration of the study.
Conclusions · A broad unifying conceptual framework (e.g. ecosystem health) and multi-disciplinary involvement were crucial from the beginning of the initiative. · Results of studies must be analyzed within the context of relationships between the ecosystem and development and of the ecological processes within the ecosystem. · Multiple stakeholder participation and acceptance are crucial for success of the ecosystem approach. · The systems ecology approach can help integrate diverse findings. · Modeling is essential when dealing with the multiple variables necessary for scenario development. · The issues of scale, institutional fit, scale concordance and cross-scale dynamics need to be addressed.
 
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors
Biomes Agricultural Biodiversity
Forest Biodiversity
Inland Waters Biodiversity
Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
Mountain Biodiversity
 
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Score
  Further
Information
Governance, Law and Policy 3-High
- Assessment Techniques 3-High
Data, Monitoring and Modelling 3-High
- Data collection 3-High
- Modelling 3-High
Cross-sectoral Research and Working 3-High
Indicators 3-High
 
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Score
Identification, Monitoring and Indicators 3-High
Invasive Alien Species 3-High
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
 
6. Ecosystem Approach
Principles and Operational Guidance   Relevance
Score
  Reason
(Only if NOT relevant)
Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices 3-High
Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level 3-High
Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context 3-High
Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach 3-High
Principle 6: Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functioning 3-High
Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales 3-High
Principle 8: Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term 3-High
Principle 9: Management must recognize the change is inevitable 3-High
Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity 3-High
Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices 3-High
Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines 3-High
 
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned · Broad unifying conceptual framework (e.g. ecosystem health) and multidisciplinary involvement crucial from the beginning of the initiative.· Results of studies must be placed within the context of relationships between the ecosystem and development in the Basin as well as with ecological processes within the ecosystem.· Multiple stakeholder participation and buy-in crucial for success of the ecosystem approach.· The systems ecology approach can assist integration of diverse findings and modeling is essential when dealing with multiple variables simultaneously necessary for scenario development. · The issues of scale mismatch, institutional fit, scale discordance and cross-scale dynamics need to be addressed.
Outcomes
Other Information
 
8. References
References R. D. Smith and E. Maltby. (2003). Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key Issues and Case Studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x +118 pp.
 
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms Leah Mohammed
Job Title Intern
Organization CBD
Address Montreal World Trade Centre
393 Saint-Jaques, 8th floor
Postal Code H2Y 1N9
City Montreal
ZIP/State/Province Quebec
Country Canada
Telephone 514-288-2220
E-mail Address leah.mohammed@biodiv.org
 
 

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme