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2020
Tuesday, September 15th
1:40 PM

Using local knowledge to model land-sea systems

Jean-Luc De Kok, VITO, Belgium

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

Existing research still primarily addresses coastal systems from either a land- or sea-based perspective, making policies based on that research ill-adapted to support effective land-sea integration at the local, regional and macro-regional scale. As a result, rural and coastal development does not yet fully benefit from the synergetic opportunities for economic development. The aim of the H2020 project COASTAL (https://h2020-coastal.eu) is to identify these opportunities by improved understanding of the social-environmental land-sea interactions. To this end coastal and rural stakeholders interact with environmental and social researchers in six Multi-Actor Labs in the EU Territory to create mind maps. Next, the stakeholders assign weights to the interactions in the mind maps to translate these into Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs) which are used to set up policy and business scenarios. FCMs are directed, causal graphs that can be used to describe the dynamic feedback behaviour of systems of varying complexity and help bridge the gap between qualitative and quantitative knowledge. FCMs are semi-quantitative and take a position in between purely qualitative, conceptual models and quantitative system dynamics models using a mathematical representation of the system, potentially including time delays. The step-wise iteration of the model and analysis of the resulting changes can help understand the role of system feedbacks and effectiveness of management options under different scenarios. However, policy scenarios generated with FCMs cannot be interpreted well as time is not explicitly included. Examples of the COASTAL project are used to demonstrate the potential and limitations of FCMs for supporting stakeholder engagements.

2:00 PM

From Aggregated Knowledge to Collective Behaviour; A Participatory Policy Analysis Methodology

Sara Mehryar, London School of Economics, UK

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Climate change adaptation includes activities and interventions attempting to reduce the vulnerability of social and ecological sub-systems to changes of temperature, rainfall, sea level, etc. Decision making and policy analysis for such interventions in the Social-Ecological Systems (SESs) is a multi-factorial and multi-stakeholder decision making process. This means, a proper policy analysis should consider both the dynamic behavior of the system’s social and ecological elements and the impacts of the stakeholders’ interventions on the system, which requires integrated methodological approaches. In this study, we simulate impacts of policy options on a farming community facing water scarcity in Rafsanjan, Iran, using an integrated modeling methodology combining an Agent Based Model (ABM) with Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM). First, the behavioral rules of farmers and the causal relations among environmental variables are captured with FCMs that are developed with both qualitative and quantitative data, i.e. farmers' knowledge and empirical data from studies. Then, an ABM is developed to model decisions and actions of farmers and simulate their impacts on overall groundwater use and emigration of farmers in this case study. Finally, the impacts of different policy options are simulated and compared with a baseline scenario. The results suggest that a policy of facilitating farmers' participation in management and control of their groundwater use leads to the highest reduction of groundwater use and would help to secure farmers’ activities in Rafsanjan. Our approach covers four main aspects that are crucial for policy simulation in SESs: 1) causal relationships, 2) feedback mechanisms, 3) social-spatial heterogeneity and 4) temporal dynamics. This approach is particularly useful for ex-ante policy options analysis.

2:20 PM

Integrating local and expert knowledge for System Dynamic Modelling: some hints from NAIAD project

Raffaele Giordano, CNR-IRSA

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

Addressing complex issues, such as evaluating Nature-based Solution (NBS) effectiveness in reducing water-related risks and producing expected co-benefits, claims for modelling approaches capable to integrate different kinds of knowledge. Participatory System Dynamic Modelling is increasingly considered as powerful tool for supporting these processes. Nevertheless, several issues still need to be addressed in order to design an effective participatory modelling exercise. Firstly, modellers are required to solve the tension between the richness of the collected knowledge and the need to synthesize it in order to develop and run the model. Secondly, modellers are required to select the most adequate modelling approach. On the one hand, qualitative approaches are easily understood by stakeholders and facilitate the dialogue between stakeholders and modellers. Nevertheless, decision-makers requires quantitative results, rather than qualitative analysis for supporting their decision-making processes. On the other hand, quantitative models are often developed as “black-boxes” that can be hardly used for supporting learning processes, which is one of the main goal of the participatory modelling exercise. Starting from these premises, this contribution aims at supporting modellers in addressing the above mentioned issues and enhancing the effectiveness of Participatory System Dynamic Modelling. To this aim, the experiences carried out in the EU-funded NAIAD are synthesized and critically analysed. The stakeholders’ engagement processes carried out in three NAIAD demos – Ljubljana (Slovenia), Medina del Campo (Spain) and Lower Danube (Romania) – for co-designing and evaluating NBS are referred to in this work. An evaluation framework has been implemented in this work for comparing two system dynamic thinking approaches, i.e. the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (qualitative model) and the System Dynamic Modelling (quantitative model). The pros and cons of the two approaches are discussed, referring to both the stakeholders’ feedbacks and the modellers’ experiences, and suggestions on how to effectively integrate qualitative and quantitative modelling approaches are provided.

2:40 PM

SILVIO - Analyzing social vulnerability under the influence of local climate change

Thais Lopez-Inojosa, Hamburg University, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, Geography Institute

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

This paper presents the methodology SILVIO (Social Vulnerability Order Methodology), a method for the analysis of social vulnerability. Local knowledge is used to build an index of social vulnerability from demographic, economic and social variables (Social Vulnerability Index - SVI). Social vulnerability is understood here as a multitude of relationships between society and the environment that can impact significantly on the livelihood of residents in a specific geographical area.

3:20 PM

Sectoral analysis of coastal and rural development - combining knowledge to expand understanding

Rachel Tiller, SINTEF OCEAN

3:20 PM - 3:40 PM

The following article describes the approach, results and lessons learned from 36 sectoral participatory stakeholder workshops in six case study areas across Europe (three coastal and three rural in each case area). Here, we explored the relevant land-sea interactions from a coastal or rural perspective, taking into consideration the motivations and barriers for collaboration, as well as the positive and negative externalities in co-production with relevant stakeholders. The participants included policy makers, business entrepreneurs, sector representatives, and domain experts. The case areas were located in Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Romania, France and Spain. In this article, we discuss the results from these workshops, focusing on the co-creation process, the science-policy-industry exchanges, cross-cutting results from the direct involvement of local actors to ensure a full understanding of the local systems as seen in a wider regional perspective and how this is translated into the modelling process. Some observations from case areas centered for example on a frustration over the lack of tourism in the off-season, often leading to empty hotels and lack of employment for those that come in for the summer season. This is in many places also coupled with an aging population, though in Greece, the economic crisis to extent changed this with many young people moving home again for financial reasons. Regulatory fragmentation also played a role in many of the workshops, where the perception that regulatory agencies worked next to each other but never coordinated activities was apparent in many of the workshops as well.

3:40 PM

A leverage points analysis of a qualitative system dynamics model for climate change adaptation in agriculture

Sabine Egerer, Climate Service Center Germany

3:40 PM - 4:00 PM

In the area of Northeast Lower Saxony (NELS), Germany, climate model projections until the end of the century show rising temperatures throughout the year, slightly lower precipitation and higher evaporation rates during summer when water for agriculture is highly demanded. The changing climate conditions are likely to cause a substantial net water deficit. Responding to these challenges, we analyze a qualitative system dynamics model (QSDM) of the agricultural sector in NELS that is based on a participatory modeling approach. Stakeholders were directly involved in the model building process through individual interviews and by co-developing a common group model. We develop a novel approach to identify potential leverage points within the system using the classifications of Meadows (1999) and Abson et al. (2017). Therefor, we analyze parameters, feedback loops and typical system archetypes within the QSDM. Furthermore, we assess the potential of stakeholders to implement adaptation measures that correspond to the identified leverage points on different time scales. Agriculture in NELS is strongly dependent on irrigation as water demanding crops with a high economic value are cultivated. As a consequence of climate change, irrigation demand in the region is expected to increase to ensure economic yield production. To effectively cope with these challenges we propose to rely on three major pathways: 1) implement measures to increase water retention in the region, 2) use water more efficiently and 3) decrease the water demand. Decision makers are demanded to give financial incentives supporting the implementation of these measures. Farmers are requested to apply water efficient irrigation management and technology and to adapt crop cultivation. Increasing societal awareness to climate change related water shortages has the potential to direct the system towards more sustainable water use and consumption patterns.

7:00 PM

Decision support tools for participatory sustainable groundwater management in California

Nigel Quinn, Berkeley National Laboratory, United States

7:00 PM - 7:20 PM

One hundred years of government agency inaction on groundwater sustainability management in California was reversed in 2014 with passage of the Groundwater Sustainability Act, (SGMA) https://water.ca.gov/Programs/Groundwater-Management/SGMA-Groundwater-Management. Unregulated groundwater pumping has, since the last major California drought of 2012-2013, led to a significant increase in the number of deep aquifer wells installed and a return of land subsidence in some of the most intensively farmed agricultural area – some areas dropping more than 0.5 metres annually in recent years. The State of California has adopted an innovative stakeholder-centric approach to SGMA planning and implementation through a requirement that stakeholders form locally controlled groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) with the authority to fund local governance to collectively support and protect groundwater resources. These GSAs are responsible for preparing groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) and implementing SGMA through cooperation and coordination with other Basin GSAs to address: (a) persistent lowering of groundwater levels; (b) significant reductions in groundwater storage; (c) ; (d) degradation of water quality and (e) irreversible land . Although the State of California promoted use of well documented, public domain, regional integrated surface and groundwater models for GSA decision support and long-term planning through the 2040 compliance deadline - stakeholders have largely ignored these tools and instead adopted simpler conceptual modeling approaches. This instance of basin-scale, water resource planning process oversight is not uncommon in agency-led participatory modeling and decision support whereby shared conceptual understanding of a problem and potential solutions among stakeholders trumps model performance and accuracy of results. This is especially true given the long-term resource implications of any negotiated groundwater management plan. This paper describes the rationale and successes to date of the SGMA planning process and the challenges ahead when using models for GSA planning purposes as the State of California grabbles with one of the most serious resource management problems in its 200-year history.