Social Dimensions of Projected Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services in the Coastal-Rural Area of Nemunas River Reaches and Curonian Lagoon (Lithuania)
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Research Setting
2.2. Description and Comparison of the Methods
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Typologies of Ecosystem Services||Benefits for People|
|Examples of the types of supply services (foodstuffs of plant origin (cereals, potatoes, etc.), foodstuffs of animal origin (pork, lamb, etc.), game fauna, fish for food and animal feeding, other natural resources (mushrooms, berries, herbs), drinkable water, non-potable water (for livestock, watering, etc.), minerals, timber, bio-fuel, wind energy, solar energy, hydropower (dams, etc.).||Services provided by land, water, wind, and solar, getting direct and indirect benefits for their use.|
|Examples of the types of regulation and maintenance services regulation and maintenance (retention, recovery and detoxification of waste and waste-water, air quality regulation, water quality cycle regulation, pollination, habitat allocation for plant and animal species, habitats for migratory animals, birds, climate regulation, including global regulation by reducing greenhouse gas concentration, and microclimate).||Benefits from the ability of ecosystems to regulate climatic, hydrological, physical and biochemical cycles, and variuos biological processes.|
|Examples of the types of cultural services (provision of recreation and nature recreation, cultural heritage, aesthetic significance, religious significance, aspiration to preserve existing natural values, provision of nature and ecological tourism, cognitive excursions, wildlife observation, cognition service, provision of recreational fishing opportunities, provision of material for research and cognition)||Benefits through recreation|
cognitive (scientific) development and spiritual experience.
|Description of the Method||Advantages of the Method||Disadvantages of the Method|
|Secondary document analysis|
|Given the object of the research (ES), the aims and objectives of the research, this method is considered to be the most important method of data collection (acquisition). Sources of collected data: national, EU and international legislation, scientific books and journals, press publications; official statistics (information provided by the Department of Statistics, municipalities, elderships, departments of protected areas); official government publications; documents of private, state, professional, and other non-governmental organisations.||Since the secondary analysis is based on documents prepared by other authors, researchers, or data collected, researchers typically have different goals and objectives than those raised in the previous studies. The method saves time and money (compared to a new study); less bias in working with already existing data rather than people; possibility to perform comparative analysis faster (several elderships, cities, etc.).||Possible unavailability of information. Not all desired information of interest to researchers is available (especially in market conditions).|
The baseline data may be erroneous, but this is difficult to elucidate in the secondary analysis because then the study would have to be started from scratch.
|Standardized direct survey|
|In order to assess the existing problems of ecosystem protection and services provided by them, a survey of respondents (farmers, businesspeople, eldership employees) was conducted and their opinions on ecosystem conservation and possible related problem areas were examined, and the peculiarities of ES regulation and implementation were revealed. The advantages and disadvantages of social conditions (related to ongoing or potential ES) were investigated using questionnaires. The surveys provide insights into the management of ES.||The survey was applied because the phenomenon under study is related to people’s attitudes, needs, interests, motivation, etc. |
In the social sciences, the survey is used as a tool to gather information from respondents on preconceived questions.
The survey was not intended to find truths unknown to science, confirming or denying theoretical attitudes or insights that arose in practice.
The survey was conducted in order to obtain representative information about the target groups studied, as well as to discover the relationships between the different parameters of the study.
|Limited time is allowed for answering the questionnaire questions, as the survey was conducted not only in the respondents’ homes, but also in the agricultural departments of the elderships.|
In order to get a better image in relation to other elderships, the environment (eldership specialists who conducted the survey) could also have an influence.
Respondents may have feared that their personalities would be identified, so the reliability of their responses could vary.
|Contingent valuation method|
|It was based on a survey of users of ES on their priorities for ecosystem services. A hypothetical potential ES market has been created. Consumers (eldership workers, farmers and businesspeople) were asked about specific actions of their own (how they can do certain actions) and questions about public policy actions to maintain or improve the condition of ecosystems.||In a freely operating environment, people can express choices through their actions.|
This method is not based on human behavior but on answers to hypothetical questions.
|During the survey, there is indecision among the respondents, in which case an uncertain answer is given.|
There is also a systemic discrepancy between hypothetical responses and actual behavior.
Respondents can sincerely present their beliefs about how they would react to certain things if they happened.
However, these beliefs can be systematically biased.
|Consumer choice experiments|
|ES consumers (farmers, businesspeople) had to choose potential (in their view) policy alternatives related to the preservation of ecosystems until 2030.||Respondents are required to select one of the proposed policy alternatives to regulate the external effects of agriculture.|
A package of existing policies and at least two other policy options with additional implementation were presented for selection.
|Respondents may not behave as they declare during the experiment because they have many alternatives in real life.|
|Opportunities after Assessing the Respondents’ Attitudes||Opportunities after Assessing the Region’s Climate Change||Opportunities for Environmental Policy on ES at National Level|
|Supply ecosystem services|
|Applicable: precision agriculture (precision sowing, precision application of plant protection products), fertilisation maps for individual soil areas according to different soil properties, multifunctional ultraviolet optical and near-infrared spectroscopy methods for soil heterogeneity assessment. |
With the help of technology, it would be possible to monitor the condition of crops, assess problematic field areas, plan technological crop maintenance, save time and streamline operations without leaving home.
The proposed creation of higher added value would require higher production costs, more labor (which is jobs for rural people), and more expensive plant protection measures.
|Low soil, water, and air pollution provides opportunities to develop the production of organic and natural products. |
Favorable climatic conditions for the production of fodder and grain, which allow for the successful development of dairy and meat farming, successful development of olericulture, horticulture, cultivation of oilseed rape and other plants and animals adapted to similar climatic conditions.
With reduced rainfall, the targeted and sustainable use of fertiliser minerals would help to avoid overfertilization, saving money, protecting the environment and the soil.
Reforestation using less fertile, hilly forest edge arable is also recommended; by restoring natural wetlands on naturally prone wetlands, enabling wildlife to remain in the fields of arable land.
|Prioritise measures to revitalize the economy and increase resilience by including in the list of funded reforms the establishment of a soil management system, including soil monitoring, development of a research database, digitization, transmission, treatment, adaptation to precision farming techniques.|
A soil quality management system is being developed to calculate greenhouse gas emissions at farm level in pursuit of long-term objectives.
Digitization technologies would open up new opportunities for agribusiness management at all stages of the agricultural and food value chain. Automation of agricultural processes would allow precise adjustment of the quantities of raw materials and supplies used, reduction of manual work, satellite data, and sensors would improve the accuracy of crop growth, land or water quality monitoring while reducing costs.
|Regulatory and maintenance ecosystem services|
|For the conservation of biodiversity in natural and semi-natural meadow habitats, use the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development appropriations, which support various financing measures for the protection of species and green infrastructure.|
This would guarantee investment in tangible assets, in forest areas (supported afforestation contributes to the restoration of animal migration routes, water quality and the achievement of other common environmental objectives, such as climate change mitigation), agri-environmental and climate measures to promote environmentally friendly farming systems in particularly sensitive areas (supporting biodiversity, landscape restoration and conservation), payments under which legal compensation for restrictions on or promotion of activities in areas would ensure an adequate conservation status of species and habitats.
|Reduce potential flood damage in the future by focusing on the legal framework to ensure proper regulation of development and construction in potential flood risk areas. The need for engineering flood protection measures could be reduced by limiting the development of settlements in flood risk areas and by providing special (flood resistance-related) requirements for buildings under construction in these areas.|
Promotion of the application of green measures in solving surface wastewater treatment works.
Use of tax measures to increase the amount of funds raised for surface water treatment.
Detailed assessment of the risk of flooding (due to poor surface water management) to identify investment needs and impacts for adaptation to climate change.
|Apply stabilization of pollutant migration, geomembranes, and other innovative biological methods in contaminated areas.|
Implement monitoring and surveillance measures in the National Sustainable Development Strategy (e.g., landscape, biodiversity, coastal dynamics, noise). In this way, changes would take place in climate change management policy, with medium- and long-term goals (monitoring and researching vulnerable sectors of the country’s economy).
|Cultural ecosystem services|
|Therefore, in order to increase the tourist attraction, it is important to develop specific products by exploiting the advantages provided by local cultural resources, local socio-economic infrastructure, tourism infrastructure provision, and service development. These factors determine the need for new tourist products (creation of individual routes, trips to hard-to-reach regions, extreme trips) and the emergence of products (demand for culinary, historical, folklore, literary, etc. routes).|
New tourist routes should emphasize their authenticity and educational aspect, look for unused spaces for tourism, attracting local craftsmen, farmers and entrepreneurs, offering original products and services in line with local traditions.
|It should be noted that the potential of CES depends and will depend on different ecosystems and their condition. It is clear that the deterioration or even disappearance of those ecosystems will reduce their ability to provide these services. Even when it seems that something is gained with environmental degradation, it is important to keep in mind that even more will be lost. The collective effort would help decision-makers incorporate relational values in their work and better understand how can collectively and individually move towards more just and sustainable relationships involving nature. Only by understanding and assessing the real potential of the services provided by ecosystems will it be possible to make appropriate, environmentally friendly decisions.||It should be emphasized that the organization of activities should include eldership communities and villagers. It is recommended to use certain incentives (depending on the funding requirements and funding period) for the implementation of these activities, such as support for rural development (support for economic start-ups in the rural areas, agri-environment and climate, organic farming), support for local projects, support for beekeeping, direct payments, projects funded by the Culture Support Fund (such as ethnic|
culture and cultural heritage, artists’ residences, cultural education, balanced cultural
development, etc.) and to use the aid in order to activate local tourism.
|Country||Actions Taken to Protect Farms from the Rise of Climate Extremes|
|Poland||Rational use of land resources, promotion of organic farming, provision of consultations to farmers regarding maintenance of good agricultural condition, energy efficiency guarantee in the production process of agricultural products, use of alternative energy sources in the agricultural sector and rural areas, afforestation of agricultural land, etc.|
|Denmark||Reduction of the impact of intense farming activities on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. A water resources management plan that has helped to reduce nitrogen and nitrous oxide emissions. The main measures taken are as follows: increasing the efficiency of the use of livestock manure, reducing the use of nitrogen compounds in fertilizers, complying with crop rotation and converting agricultural land to pasture or afforestation.|
|Scotland||The land is ploughed only in spring to form a better protective layer of snow during winter. Plant residues are collected and composted, or the land is fully ploughed in spring. Reduced fertilization rates are applied, fertilizer distributors with precise metering units are used, fertilization is carried out in accordance with natural conditions, careful selection of the type of fertilizer, giving priority to slow-spreading fertilisers in the soil. Trees are planted in the safety zones separating the fields, at the edges of the fields in order to reduce the risk of soil erosion and nutrient leaching.|
|Italy||Water management policy is in the focus of attention. There are three main activity trends, which are as follows: prevention of water bodies’ pollution, water saving, especially in agriculture, and proper use of water.|
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Marcinkevičiūtė, L.; Vilkevičiūtė, J.; Žukovskis, J.; Pranskūnienė, R. Social Dimensions of Projected Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services in the Coastal-Rural Area of Nemunas River Reaches and Curonian Lagoon (Lithuania). Water 2021, 13, 1114. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081114
Marcinkevičiūtė L, Vilkevičiūtė J, Žukovskis J, Pranskūnienė R. Social Dimensions of Projected Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services in the Coastal-Rural Area of Nemunas River Reaches and Curonian Lagoon (Lithuania). Water. 2021; 13(8):1114. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081114Chicago/Turabian Style
Marcinkevičiūtė, Lina, Jolanta Vilkevičiūtė, Jan Žukovskis, and Rasa Pranskūnienė. 2021. "Social Dimensions of Projected Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services in the Coastal-Rural Area of Nemunas River Reaches and Curonian Lagoon (Lithuania)" Water 13, no. 8: 1114. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081114