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Ecosystem service assessment of selected wetlands of Kolkata and the Indian Gangetic Delta: multi-beneficial systems under differentiated management stress

Everard, Mark; Kangabam, Rajiv; Tiwari, Manoj Kumar; McInnes, Rob; Kumar, Ritesh; Talukdar, Gautam Hirak; Dixon, Harry; Joshi, Priya; Allan, Richard; Joshi, Dhaval; Das, Lalu

Authors

Mark Everard Mark.Everard@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Ecosystem Services

Rajiv Kangabam

Manoj Kumar Tiwari

Rob McInnes

Ritesh Kumar

Gautam Hirak Talukdar

Harry Dixon

Priya Joshi

Richard Allan

Dhaval Joshi

Lalu Das



Abstract

© 2019, The Author(s). A structured literature review using the search term ‘ecosystem services’ found few relevant studies relating to three contrasting wetlands in West Bengal: the unpopulated Sudhanyakhali Island in the Sundarbans National Park, the populated Gosaba Island separated from Sudhanyakhali Island by a narrow channel, and the East Kolkata Wetland (EKW). Subsequent structured review focused on the EKW using specific service-related terms located only 2 provisioning, 6 regulating, 1 cultural and 3 supporting services. Few services are currently recognized in the literature, with significant gaps in whole service categories. Significantly, there was no published evidence of a systemic overview of service production at these sites. Field observations and stakeholder dialogue informed assessment of ecosystem services using the Rapid Assessment of Wetland Ecosystem Services (RAWES) approach, adopted by the Ramsar Commission, on both islands and three discretely different areas of the EKW. The RAWES surveys found that 32 of 36 ecosystem services were produced from at least one assessed wetland site. Despite low sample size, statistically significant differences were observed in the range of services produced between the five wetland sites and the geographical range at which benefits accrued, explained by differing wetland characteristics and management regimes. Were decisions based solely on evidence provided by existing published knowledge, few ecosystem services would be considered and, potentially, whole ecosystem service categories might be overlooked. Importantly, there would also be no systemic account of service production and interdependencies. RAWES assessment serves as a practical, rapid and systemic approach, taking account of interdependent ecosystem services, supporting protection of the ecological character and achievement of wise use of wetlands. RAWES can also help redress perceptions that the values of peri-urban wetlands are currently under-represented.

Citation

Everard, M., Kangabam, R., Tiwari, M. K., McInnes, R., Kumar, R., Talukdar, G. H., …Das, L. (2019). Ecosystem service assessment of selected wetlands of Kolkata and the Indian Gangetic Delta: multi-beneficial systems under differentiated management stress. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 27(2-3), 405-426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-019-09668-1

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 3, 2019
Online Publication Date May 14, 2019
Publication Date Jun 14, 2019
Deposit Date May 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2020
Journal Wetlands Ecology and Management
Print ISSN 0923-4861
Electronic ISSN 1572-9834
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 2-3
Pages 405-426
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-019-09668-1
Keywords Sundarbans, East Kolkata wetland, RAWES, Ramsar, wise use, ecosystem services index
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/846948
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-019-09668-1
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-019-09668-1

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.




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