Presenter/Author Information

O. O. Osidele
M. B. Beck

Keywords

environmental futures, stakeholder participation, modelling, uncertainty, integrated assessment

Start Date

1-7-2002 12:00 AM

Description

We present a framework for computational analysis of reachable futures, centred on the analysisof uncertainty, in which stakeholder participation is integral to generating environmental foresight. In ourcase study, we examine the long-term ecological behaviour of Lake Lanier, Georgia, south-eastern USA. Weelicit stakeholders' fears and desires for the future state of the reservoir during a foresight workshop session,from which we encode long-term behaviour definitions (scenarios) for the analysis. A generalised ecologicalmodel provides the mechanism for propagating a set of uncertain input factors – namely, process parameters,initial conditions, and forcing functions – into the future. We employ three sampling-based methods foridentifying and ranking the importance of these factors in influencing the speculated future behaviours. Theanalysis also indicates the likelihood (reachability) of the scenarios, and reveals possible structural changebetween the observed past and speculated futures. Our results suggest that: (i) the desired future is morereachable, and accompanied by more significant structural change, than the feared future, and (ii) sedimentwater-nutrient interactions, secondary production, and microbial production are key processes in the futurebehaviour of Lake Lanier. This information allows us to: (i) respond to the stakeholders and confirm or refutetheir concerns for the future environment, and (ii) suggest directions for future scientific research byidentifying critical gaps in current knowledge. By engaging stakeholders and scientists in a mutual feedbackbetween scenario-generation and systematic analysis, the framework sets a promising direction for integratedenvironmental assessment.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Integrating Stakeholder Imagination with Scientific Theory: A Case Study of Lake Lanier, USA

We present a framework for computational analysis of reachable futures, centred on the analysisof uncertainty, in which stakeholder participation is integral to generating environmental foresight. In ourcase study, we examine the long-term ecological behaviour of Lake Lanier, Georgia, south-eastern USA. Weelicit stakeholders' fears and desires for the future state of the reservoir during a foresight workshop session,from which we encode long-term behaviour definitions (scenarios) for the analysis. A generalised ecologicalmodel provides the mechanism for propagating a set of uncertain input factors – namely, process parameters,initial conditions, and forcing functions – into the future. We employ three sampling-based methods foridentifying and ranking the importance of these factors in influencing the speculated future behaviours. Theanalysis also indicates the likelihood (reachability) of the scenarios, and reveals possible structural changebetween the observed past and speculated futures. Our results suggest that: (i) the desired future is morereachable, and accompanied by more significant structural change, than the feared future, and (ii) sedimentwater-nutrient interactions, secondary production, and microbial production are key processes in the futurebehaviour of Lake Lanier. This information allows us to: (i) respond to the stakeholders and confirm or refutetheir concerns for the future environment, and (ii) suggest directions for future scientific research byidentifying critical gaps in current knowledge. By engaging stakeholders and scientists in a mutual feedbackbetween scenario-generation and systematic analysis, the framework sets a promising direction for integratedenvironmental assessment.