Keywords

complex system, impact assessment, sustainability indicators, stakeholders

Start Date

1-7-2006 12:00 AM

Description

Problems related to natural resource management (NRM) are typically complex and require integration of information across several scales and disciplines. Operational concepts to support such integration are scarce. Systems analysis and modelling can be helpful but the complexity of environmental systems also requires application of appropriate upscaling methods. Simultaneous assessment and modelling of system behaviour at several levels of organisation poses particular problems. Here, we provide an introductory overview on the critical issues related to multi-scale analysis and modelling of NRM. We describe the problems related to NRM within the context of systems thinking and hierarchy theory. Methods of upscaling commonly used in natural sciences are presented and discussed for application to NRM. The use of indicators is considered as alternative where systems understanding is less developed. The need for involving stakeholders in integrated assessments is stressed. We conclude that systems understanding required to support sustainable NRM is fragmented but that available knowledge can be utilised through integrated assessment modelling of sustainability indicators developed in close interaction with stakeholders. Advancement in multi-scale analysis and modelling will require (i) a problem driven approach; (ii) appropriate upscaling methods to reduce complexity of composite models; (iii) proper methods of stakeholder involvement; and (iv) software solutions to support flexible development of composite models;

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Multi-scale analysis and modelling of natural resource management options

Problems related to natural resource management (NRM) are typically complex and require integration of information across several scales and disciplines. Operational concepts to support such integration are scarce. Systems analysis and modelling can be helpful but the complexity of environmental systems also requires application of appropriate upscaling methods. Simultaneous assessment and modelling of system behaviour at several levels of organisation poses particular problems. Here, we provide an introductory overview on the critical issues related to multi-scale analysis and modelling of NRM. We describe the problems related to NRM within the context of systems thinking and hierarchy theory. Methods of upscaling commonly used in natural sciences are presented and discussed for application to NRM. The use of indicators is considered as alternative where systems understanding is less developed. The need for involving stakeholders in integrated assessments is stressed. We conclude that systems understanding required to support sustainable NRM is fragmented but that available knowledge can be utilised through integrated assessment modelling of sustainability indicators developed in close interaction with stakeholders. Advancement in multi-scale analysis and modelling will require (i) a problem driven approach; (ii) appropriate upscaling methods to reduce complexity of composite models; (iii) proper methods of stakeholder involvement; and (iv) software solutions to support flexible development of composite models;