Wetland connectedness and policy fragmentation: Steps towards a sustainable European wetland policy

J.M. Amezaga, L. Santamaria

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The sustainable use of wetlands and water resources requires management approaches that incorporate explicitly the spatial and temporal interconnections among different aquatic ecosystems. Current management practices, on the contrary, are characterised by conceptual, thematic and spatial divisions generated by the same fragmented worldview behind non- sustainable growth. Here we identify several shortcomings in the current management of European wetlands. These stem from the contradiction implicit in the creation of highly protected 'natural' reserves surrounded by unprotected 'non-natural' territory. We will illustrate the consequences of this policy for the management of certain Mediterranean watersheds containing SPAs, SACs or Ramsar sites - in particular the Guadalquivir and Guadiana watersheds, which respectively include the Donana and Tablas de Daimiel nature reserves. To exemplify these points, we also analyse the degree of integration of the multiple directives and regulations affecting the European wetlands policy. Finally, we propose future avenues for improved institutional cooperation aimed at catalysing the emergence of a spatially-integrated, but regionally-diverse approach for water management. [KEYWORDS: Donana-national-park; guadalquivir river; sw spain; water; organochlorine; soils]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-640
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth Part B-Hydrology Oceans and Atmosphere
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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