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Implementing an Ecosystem Approach: The case of the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast European Marine Site

Simpson, Katherine (2011) Implementing an Ecosystem Approach: The case of the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast European Marine Site. MSc by research thesis, University of York.

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Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. One such example is the Teesmouth and Cleveland European Marine Site (EMS) which is recognised under Article 4.1 and 4.2 of the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) for supporting waterbird populations of European importance. Until recently the major negative impact on waterbirds was industry which saw the loss of over 90% of the intertidal mudflats and sandbanks since 1850. As land reclamation has ceased and industry has started to behave responsibly the dominant negative impact on waterbirds are now recreational activities. The research undertaken for this thesis was embedded within the Ecosystem Approach framework. This approach aims to maintain, and increase the benefits humans gain from ecosystems by recognising the social, cultural and economic benefits ecosystems have to offer, as well as the biodiversity benefits. Mapping the ecosystem service provision throughout the EMS showed that recreation has the highest level of provision; however sites along the Tees Estuary encompassed a wider range of services due to the greater variety of habitats. The social dimensions of the EMS were examined through on-site visitor surveys, whilst the ecological impacts of recreation were explored through a waterbird disturbance survey. Jointly these surveys allowed the identification of those which factors contribute to a negative site condition assessment, visitors understanding of the conservation importance of the EMS and which management measures visitors prefer. Interviewing the relevant authorities highlighted the difficulties in managing an EMS for recreation, conservation and economic development. The plethora of policies from Europe, through to local government would make it very difficult for the management group to wholly adopt the Ecosystem Approach. Instead it is recommended that a programme for inclusion and action for the local users is developed by the management group focussing on voluntary management measures.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Keywords: Ecosystem services, Ecosystem approach, Special Protection Area, Conservation
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Miss Katherine Simpson
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2012 08:38
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2337

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