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Education for living sustainably
Embedding people in place
Resources for concept mapping
Embedding people in place
During the past decade there has been a global move towards holistic conservation management, with integrated plans for local ecosystem services. Such plans involve modelling the ecocultural dynamics of the local human ecological niche. Two significant moves, which illustrate the global significance of this change in this direction are the Future Generations (Wales) Act, recently introduced by the Welsh Government, and Section 38 of Kenya’s Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA). Both initiatives demand that local government, in partnership with its communities, should co-produce plans for the wellbeing of future generations. In Wales these plans are called ‘wellbeing plans’ and in Kenya they are ‘district environment action plans (DEAPs)’. Regarding the format for such plans, a good Kenyan example is the Mount Elgon DEAP. Wales has yet to specify the required format of its well being plans.
The two systems of legislation have arisen independently as frameworks within which local government has to work with its communities to make statutory conservation management systems that ensure the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (the sustainable development principle).
The plans will have to operate seamlessly from strategic to operational levels and manage the linkages across ecosystems and the interconnections amongst cultural practices, economic development, environmental stressors, ecosystem attributes and restoration activities for biodiversity and day to day living. This requires performance indicators for well being so that everyone can check out progress.
This page explores a knowledge system for making conceptual management models for terrestrial, marine, and freshwater protected areas at both system and site levels. Over time, protected areas have moved from being places of physical isolation, where management was frequently handsoff or laissez-faire, to places where active restoration management is done to restore biodiversity and other valuable features of the protected area. Although protected area management aims first at protecting existing ecosystems, a combination of previous degradation and continuing external pressures mean that restoration has become the norm for conservation management. This is because, on an overcrowded planet, ecosystems are no longer in a pristine state and continuous management is needed to restore them to a past condition of low human impact. In recognition of this global situation the term ‘ restoration for protected areas’ has been introduced by the IUCN for activities within protected sites and for activities in the wider system of connecting or surrounding lands and waters that influence protected area features. Sometimes a conservation plan necessitates restoration beyond protected area borders (e.g. to address ecosystem fragmentation and maintain well connected protected area systems).
With the shift towards holistic management involving the integration of ecosystem services, conceptual models of conservation management should synthesize the sociocultural characteristics of the local human ecological niche. This includes linkages across ecosystems and interconnections amongst cultural practices, economic development, environmental stressors, ecosystem attributes and restoration activities. As syntheses of the state of understanding of the dynamics of the human niche, conceptual models of ecosystem services can provide a basis for examining the potential risks and consequences of various restoration options and related actions. Modelled attributes of the restored ecosystem can also be used as benchmarks for evaluating the success of various stages of the management project and determining the need to change restoration actions or policies through an adaptive approach.
Descriptions of the abiotic and biotic attributes of one or more sets of reference ecosystems are important contributors to conceptual models for ecological restoration projects. Mind maps are essential to visualise the system and produce the data model.
The following sites related to the above are under construction.
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