Ecosystem Services in Floodplains
This volume is a collection of essays by European environmental scholars on the ecosystem services theme. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), carried out between 2001 and 2005 at the behest of the United Nations Gene- ral Assembly, was designed to assess the consequences of the changes which have taken place in the environment on human wellbeing as well as to improve conservation and the sustainable use of ecosystems by identifying the contribu- tions these made to economic and social progress over the course of the centu- ries. Scholars have been conducting research on the ecosystem services-human wellbeing interaction for some years now, but no long-term historical study of this topic – from the Middle Ages to the present day – has yet been attempted, and we believe this to be a fertile field of enquiry. In particular, this volume de- als with the relationship between ecosystems and the well-being of the people living in a certain area in the widest sense, focusing on ecosystemic services.
Russian North region was good for industry and trade and by the late 16th century it had become one of Russia’s most advanced and developed regions, incorporating the port of Archangelsk ‒ the major gateway for Russian commerce with Europe. The role of the monasteries in governing this region was a crucial one. In the following paragraphs we will consider the multifaceted interrelationship between the monks and the water environment of the region in more detail. We will start from landscape management considerations related to the foundation of the monastery itself, proceed to the control of the water environment in the monastery’s everyday life and lastly analyze the role water control played in monastic economic power.