28-Jan-2010  

Workshop on Wetlands Management, Economics and Policy

 

 

Selected Presentations

 

Program

The University of Victoria in conjunction with the University of Alberta and Ducks Unlimited Canada will host a workshop on “Wetlands Management, Economics and Policy” at the Hotel Grand Pacific in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, January 13-15, 2010. As wetland policy discussions and changes are ongoing across Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere, the timing of such a workshop is ripe for advancing the state of knowledge about the benefits of wetlands and fuelling policy discussions.

Wetland ecosystems are among the most important in the world, both from an economic and environmental perspective. Wetlands provide a large number of services, the most important of which relate to protection against flooding, water quality, assimilation of wastes, and wildlife habitat. In Europe, coastal wetlands protect residential areas against flooding from the sea, while all wetlands are important for recreation, improving water quality, and providing habitat for numerous waterfowl and other wildlife. The Prairie Pothole Region of Canada and the United States provides most of the breeding habitat for North American waterfowl. However, this region is also North America’s breadbasket and, as is true of many wetland areas, is a highly altered landscape that is primarily utilized for agricultural production. Given the focus in many countries on energy crops for ethanol and biodiesel, it will be increasingly difficult to protect wetlands and associated grasslands in such agricultural regions.

The complexity of wetland ecosystems poses challenges for management, valuation and the establishment of sound policy to conserve them. In recognition of these challenges and the important but often neglected role of wetlands in society, selected papers from the workshop will be published in a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics devoted to wetlands management, economics and policy.