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Working wetlands: a new approach to balancing agricultural development with environmental protection
Wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services to society. Yet, in many parts of the world, wetlands have been degraded or lost, and demand for development-particularly from agriculture-is putting pressure on many of those that remain. Policymakers and planners have to consider a bewildering set of biophysical, economic and social factors when deciding whether or not wetlands should be developed for a specific agricultural use. A simple new tool is now available to help them systematically consider multiple criteria and rapidly assess the opportunities for, and possible consequences of, developing agriculture in a wetland.