Stream: Participatory Modelling and Stakeholder Involvement


E1. The role of models in governing transition processes towards sustainable resource management
Johannes Halbe, Dominik Reusser, Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Jan Sendzimir

Over the past decades, the vision of a sustainable resource management emerged in the scientific community and the public at large. The design properties characterising "sustainable" resource management systems are still debated and the delineation of pathways towards sustainability and the implementation of associated measures are challenged by uncertainty as well as structural barriers and conflicts among affected stakeholders. The influence of environmental authorities to steer the management of resources in a sustainable direction is especially limited when multiple actors have an effect on the resource base.

This session will address the role of models in the governance of transition processes towards sustainable resource management. Can model based understanding of past transitions support practical decision-making? Are model-based diagnoses of current resource management problems helpful to identify barriers and drivers of change, and to deal with conflicting interests and world-views? Can explorative models help to define management strategies and pathways towards sustainability?

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E2.1 Understanding human-environment interactions through modelling and stakeholder participation - Case study research: analyzing environmental conditions together with stakeholders to improve the system's performance

E2.2 Understanding human-environment interactions through modelling and stakeholder participation - Developing, improving and testing methods together with stakeholders, using case study examples

E2.3 Understanding human-environment interactions through modelling and stakeholder participation - Developing new concepts and frameworks to integrate stakeholder knowledge and activities in modeling efforts

all lead by Joerg Krywkow, Pieter Valkering, Francois Bousquet, Geeske Scholz, Alexey Voinov, Heleen Vreugdenhil

Understanding human-environment interactions is vital for developing more robust, flexible, and pro-active environmental policy. To this end, there is much interest in integrated modelling, assuming that linking models, modules, and components produces more functionality and better understanding of human-environment processes. At the same time participatory model development involving stakeholders has become a quasi standard approach in environmental modelling.
Participatory modelling may be considered as an approach to integrate the knowledge of stakeholders with expert knowledge. Whereas computer modelling provides formalism, and the inclusion of the (prevailingly quantitative) scientific 'facts'; stakeholder participation introduces (often qualitative) lay-knowledge and subjective stakeholder perspectives on the issues of concern. Notably, stakeholder participation is supportive to understand possible human response to environmental, societal, economic and technical development.

In this session, we share experiences in approaches that combine modelling efforts such as ABM or system dynamics models, etc. with stakeholder participation to examine human-environment interactions including serious or policy gaming, scenario development (like the 'storyline and simulation' approach), participatory or companion modelling, and group model building. We discuss problems and challenges associated with combining various forms of knowledge (personal experience, group preferences, expert opinion, science-based knowledge, etc.). We welcome papers about diverse case studies pertaining to various application domains, geographical regions and scales.

Particular questions to be addressed are:

  • How can software tools in general and model integration tools in particular (including various levels of complexity and user-friendliness ranging from icon-based system dynamics tools to detailed GCMs) be coupled to assist stakeholder participation and knowledge integration?
  • How to design and plan interactions among stakeholders and models? How to integrate stakeholder knowledge of various levels of complexity and detail, ranging from lay person's opinions to informed expert opinion (for example through individual stakeholder consultation, stakeholder workshops, or through the Internet)?
  • How to validate the observed human-environment dynamics, for example, through a cross comparison with historical cases stakeholder consultation, or a triangulation of methods - and what are quality criteria for the knowledge produced?
  • How to promote produced knowledge in the policy arena? How can this knowledge contribute to societal learning (for example through the participation of decision makers or the public at large, or other knowledge dissemination activities)?
  • How to package and present insights in a way that they are useful and informative to participants and decision makers?
  • What type of policy relevant insights emerge from these studies into the nature of human-environment interaction?

This session is linked with workshop E3.

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