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INNOVATESP7-RM1 Decision Support Approach

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SP7-RM1 Decision Support Approach

Workshops in Brazil and Germany


SP7-1 is connecting knowledge of all sub-projects, using and facilitating bi-national exchange with a multi-sectorial, inter- and transdisciplinary approach. The Constellation Analysis, as a bridging concept, gathers information and organizes it visually in order to derive a shared understanding. Analyzing the current constellations involved a series of sessions with researchers from all groups of the project. Hence, the method itself necessarily involves stakeholders and researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, encouraging discourse over disciplinary boundaries. The bi-national research group involves environmental planners, geographers and agricultural scientists.

The first steps of the Constellation Analysis were applied: analysis and definition of the current constellations, and identifying the central questions and the elements (natural, technical, system/signs and actors) as well as their relationship.

In 2013, SP7 INNOVATE members realized constellation analysis workshops on three levels: 1) civil society (farmers, fishermen and citizens), 2) relevant local and regional institution and 3) INNOVATE scientist. The workshops took place in the public irrigation scheme of Icó-Mandantes (municipality of Petrolândia), the city of Petrolândia, and Recife (capital town of Pernambuco). A resume of the results is available for download here. READ FURTHER: Rodorff V, Araújo GJF, Gomes ETA, Köppel J, Siegmund-Schultze M, Sobral MC (2013) Driving forces and barriers for a sustainable management of the Itaparica reservoir region - basic milestones towards a constellation analysis. In: Günter G, Silva JAA, Sobral MC (Eds.): Sustainable Management of Water and Land in Semiarid Areas. Recife: Federal University of Pernambuco, Editora Universitária, pp. 254–268. ISBN: 978-85-415-0259-7. | You can download a leaflet describing Constellation Analysis in WOCAT style (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies - https://www.wocat.net/) here.

A primarily desk study analyzed the effectiveness of follow-up programs in the local study region. What happened in the last 25 years after completion of the Itaparica Dam in terms of plans and programs? A series of comprehensive plans and programs at different scales could be detected. However, the implementation of these appears to be lagging behind their broad contents’. Planning across sectors and scales is still a big challenge. The specific actors involved are key in this process. New actors, such as the watershed committee, are in a process of taking stock. This adds to a dynamic process, while the inertia of the system as a whole is still high and societal changes, as a general rule, are seldom quick. READ FURTHER: Rodorff V, Siegmund-Schultze M, Gottwald S, Sobral MC, Köppel J (2015) Eficácia de programas de acompanhamento (follow-up) – 25 anos após a construção do reservatório de Itaparica no Nordeste brasileiro. In: Theodoro HD, Matos F [Eds]: Governança e recursos hídricos: Experiências nacionais e internacionais de gestão. D’Plácido, Belo Horizonte, pp 199-218. ISBN 9788584250851. | Rodorff V, Siegmund-Schultze M, Gottwald S, Meckel U, Sobral MC (2013) Effektivität von Staudamm Follow-up Programmen – 25 Jahre nach dem Bau des Itaparica Reservoirs in Nordost-Brasilien. UVP-report 27:216-223. [http://www.uvp.de/de/uvp-report/jahrgang-27].

The analysis of the Itaparica area has been complemented by studying governance of the entire watershed of the São Francisco River. The watershed committee of the São Francisco River is considered a major stakeholder for implementing project measures. The intended composition of committee members (stakeholder groups) and their respective roles were specified in the national water act of 1997. The particular case of the São Francisco River is unique as it is the first large several-state watershed with a committee. Participation in a plenary session of the watershed committee, followed by an online questionnaire (Dec 2013/Jan 2014), provided insights to modes of functioning and major topics. A summary of the survey is available for download here. READ FURTHER: Siegmund-Schultze M, Rodorff V, Köppel J, Sobral MC (2015) Paternalism or participatory governance? Efforts and obstacles in implementing the Brazilian water policy in a large watershed. Land Use Policy 48:120-130. DOI:10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.05.024

In the frame of her Master Thesis, Sarah Gottwald tested Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) as a tool to assess ecosystem services – she performed a case study in Petrolândia, in 2014/2015. Governing natural resources is often hampered by fragmented information. Desktop studies are able to reveal a general spatial overview. This is, however, often not sufficient, especially where contested decisions about use and conservation of scarce resources are at stake. The main goal of the study was to evaluate the application potential of Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) as an instrument to include social values in ecosystem service (ESS) assessment and to facilitate the communication between local stakeholders, decision-makers and scientists. In Petrolândia, a small town in a remote area of Northeast Brazil, the perception of ESS by local stakeholders and scientists (as a proxy for outsiders) was assessed using an ESS exercise during interviews and online surveys. Local stakeholders valued the services on average higher than the scientists, especially ‘Medical plant provision’ and ‘Cultural identification’. Thus, ESS assessment should take into account ‘soft data’ such as the perception of local stakeholders, notably as public participation is legally required in decision-making processes. To this end, PPGIS was assessed as an instrument to carry out participatory ESS mapping, using interviews and practical interaction with a local map-prototype. The three crucial prerequisites for PPGIS were tested: (1) existence of public participation practices in the study region, (2) availability of the internet and Web 2.0 technology, and (3) availability of suitable geographic data and the basic ability of local stakeholders to read und use maps. As a result, PPGIS is currently not recommended in the study region to assess ESS for two reasons: (1) weak public participation practice and (2) low quality cartographic datasets available and difficulties to read maps. Different ongoing efforts appear being promising for an increased inclusion of the public in the future. A more demanding challenge is the difficulty to read maps, which might be linked to the existing school system, and which may change very slowly. The quality of maps to be found in the study region is weak, but it was part of this study to enhance the existing cartographic database. Providing access to intriguing maps and practicing reading them are steps towards inclusive citizenship. You can access her map of Petrolândia here. READ FURTHER: Siegmund-Schultze M, Gomes ETA, Gottwald S, Köppel J, Rodorff V, Sobral MC (2015) Participação na gestão dos recursos hídricos: lidando com as divergências nas definições, objetivos e prática. Paper accepted at 12th SILUSBA Conference, 22-27 Nov 2015, Brasília.

In the frame of ecosystem services research—aimed at supporting the governance of sustainable land management—we contributed an INNOVATE example for a study, which integrated several regional projects of the funding measure. READ FURTHER: Förster J., Barkmann J., Fricke R., Hotes S., Kleyer M., Kobbe S., Kübler D., Rumbaur C., Siegmund-Schultze M., Seppelt R., Settele J., Spangenberg J.H., Tekken V., Václavík T., Wittmer H. (2015) Assessing ecosystem services for informing land-use decisions: a problem-oriented approach. Ecology and Society 20(3):31 [19 pages]. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07804-200331


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