Screening regional management options for their impact on climate resilience: an approach and case study in the Venen-Vechtstreek wetlands in the Netherlands.
Freshwater systems provide various resources and services. These are often vulnerable to climate change and other pressures. Therefore, enhancing resilience to climate change is important for their long term viability. This paper explores how management options can be evaluated on their resilience implications. The approach included five steps: (1) characterizing the system, (2) characterizing the impacts of climate change and other disturbances, (3) inventorying management options, (4) assessing the impacts of these on climate resilience, and (5) follow-up analysis. For the resilience assessment, we used a set of ‘resilience principles’: homeostasis, omnivory, high flux, flatness, buffering, and redundancy. We applied the approach in a case study in a Dutch wetlands region. Many options in the region’s management plan contribute to resilience, however, the plan underutilised several principles, particularly flatness, but also redundancy and omnivory for agriculture, and high flux for nature. Co-benefits was identified as an important additional criterion to obtain support for adaptation from local stakeholders, such as farmers. The approach provided a relatively quick and participatory way to screen options. It allowed us to consider multiple impacts and sectors, multiple dimensions of resilience, and stakeholder perspectives. The results can be used to identify gaps or pitfalls, and set priorities for follow-up analyses.