There are many ways through which the environment is influenced by CC, some direct and some indirect. The range of impacts is not certain yet, and only estimations can be made. However, it is certain that ecosystems will be affected; a few studies have already proved that currently changes can be detected in the field. And according to palaeo-graphic studies, in the past large changes have occurred which influenced the environment greatly. Ecosystems can be seen as a water user just like agriculture and humans, and this approach would mean that a certain amount of resources should be allocated for ecosystems. Hence, it is suggested to include ecosystems as an integral part in water management options to ensure they are considered in basin management plans.

The two case studies indicate it is possible to improve the environment by taking measures, even though ADAPT paid relatively little attention to the subject. The AMR approach is suitable for other basins, and it is desirable that analogous to crop modelling the effects of CC on important ecosystem species is simulated. The adaptation strategies that were developed pay little attention to non-structural measures. For a well-balanced strategy these measures have to be taken into account. The scenarios will be more realistic when the non-climatic changes and pressures on the environment are included, because according to the literature the impact of CC on the environment in the coming decades is still much less significant than the impacts from population growth and land use change (Lettenmaier et al., 1999; Morgan et al., 2001; Parmesan and Yohe, 2003). Through an integrated assessment of the pressures on the environment the climatic and non-climatic impacts can be integrated and their combined effect on ecosystems can be assessed.

The pressures on ecosystems are expected to increase because pressures on human society will increase the demand for land, water and wildlife resources. The result is a change in the Earth's land surface, the ecosystem services humans receive, and the landscapes where humans live at regional and global scales (UNEP, 1998). In overcoming these effects good governance is needed, including good management of the WRS. It is shown that the management of the WRS will include a trade-off between the different water users in the basin. The AMR framework is a tool that helps basin managers and inhabitants to support decisions with respect to the different stakeholders involved in the process.

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