Environmental Management: From Assessment to Decision-Making

Toth FL (2004). Environmental Management: From Assessment to Decision-Making. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-04-076

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Abstract

Changing process of environmental decision-making have stimulated a large array of conceptual and methodological research in environmental science. This report deals with two large areas. Firstly, criteria for good environmental decision-making are established and associated with corresponding criteria for for good scientific assessments to support it. It is found that the process of decision-making and decision analysis should use the best available information about the biophysical characteristics, their changes and their socio-economic implications, the social context and values involved in the environmental problem including cumulative and cross-scale effects. Both types of processes need to consider uncertainties by adopting analytical frameworks and decision-making processes capable of accommodating new information and course corrections. They also need to take into account equity, efficiency, and vulnerability concerns, pursue accountability and strive for effectiveness.

Secondly, a set of analytical frameworks is assessed according to selected features that are relevant in choosing among them for implementing environmental assessments. It is concluded that the diverse and sophisticated analytical frameworks, tools, and models to support environmental decision-making draw on various disciplines in social sciences and attain various degrees of formalization from mathematical models to discourse-based social processes. The ability to address specific aspects of the decision problem (efficiency and equity concerns, problem scale, uncertainties) varies accordingly.

The continuing challenge for environmental decision-making remains to select the relevant ingredients and to choose the analytical framework that provides the most relevant and useful information for the decision-making process. More systematic assessments of the relevant ingredients and of the capabilities of applicable tools are needed to further improve environmental assessments and thereby environmental management.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LUC)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:16
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 17:10
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/7374

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