Presenter/Author Information

Markus Knoflacher
U. Gigler

Keywords

conceptual model, systems theory, interaction loop, adaptive management, sustainability

Start Date

1-7-2004 12:00 AM

Description

This conceptual model is based on theoretical implications and analyses of empirical examples, and focuses on how functional processes in the environmental system affect decisions taken in the social system. Complex functional relationships at several temporal and spatial scales such as climate conditions or pollutant emissions characterise functional processes in the environmental system. Actions of humans in the environmental system are crucially constrained by limited information about system conditions, and limited predictability of system development. Both constraints are not equally valid for all functional processes, and all interactions between humans and the environmental system, because diverse human activities and interests lead to an array of interpretations regarding the environmental system. An active comparative exchange of partial views about the environmental system can enlarge social knowledge. These requirements cannot be satisfied solely by scientific investigations; observations and experiences of non-scientific human actors also have to be considered. Integrating the different types of knowledge by applying systems analysis methods delivers the basis for developing general management plans e.g. in urban planning, although uncertainty in decision-making cannot be eliminated fully through integration alone. It is nevertheless an essential precondition for applying the adaptive management instrument because it delivers, in addition to an improved understanding among stakeholders, an overview of functions such as impact-effect relationships and scales relevant for human actors in the environmental system. The adaptive management process is necessary in order to establish a functioning feedback system, to determine the type of organisational framework needed, and to ascertain which actor groups to involve in decisions and assessment procedures within the framework of sustainable development.

Share

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

A Conceptual Model about the Application of Adaptive Management for Sustainable Development

This conceptual model is based on theoretical implications and analyses of empirical examples, and focuses on how functional processes in the environmental system affect decisions taken in the social system. Complex functional relationships at several temporal and spatial scales such as climate conditions or pollutant emissions characterise functional processes in the environmental system. Actions of humans in the environmental system are crucially constrained by limited information about system conditions, and limited predictability of system development. Both constraints are not equally valid for all functional processes, and all interactions between humans and the environmental system, because diverse human activities and interests lead to an array of interpretations regarding the environmental system. An active comparative exchange of partial views about the environmental system can enlarge social knowledge. These requirements cannot be satisfied solely by scientific investigations; observations and experiences of non-scientific human actors also have to be considered. Integrating the different types of knowledge by applying systems analysis methods delivers the basis for developing general management plans e.g. in urban planning, although uncertainty in decision-making cannot be eliminated fully through integration alone. It is nevertheless an essential precondition for applying the adaptive management instrument because it delivers, in addition to an improved understanding among stakeholders, an overview of functions such as impact-effect relationships and scales relevant for human actors in the environmental system. The adaptive management process is necessary in order to establish a functioning feedback system, to determine the type of organisational framework needed, and to ascertain which actor groups to involve in decisions and assessment procedures within the framework of sustainable development.