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Engaging stakeholders for adaptive management using structured decision analysis

January 1, 2009

Adaptive management is different from other types of management in that it includes all stakeholders (versus only policy makers) in the process, uses resource optimization techniques to evaluate competing objectives, and recognizes and attempts to reduce uncertainty inherent in natural resource systems. Management actions are negotiated by stakeholders, monitored results are compared to predictions of how the system should respond, and management strategies are adjusted in a “monitor-compare-adjust” iterative routine. Many adaptive management projects fail because of the lack of stakeholder identification, engagement, and continued involvement. Primary reasons for this vary but are usually related to either stakeholders not having ownership (or representation) in decision processes or disenfranchisement of stakeholders after adaptive management begins. We present an example in which stakeholders participated fully in adaptive management of a southeastern regulated river. Structured decision analysis was used to define management objectives and stakeholder values and to determine initial flow prescriptions. The process was transparent, and the visual nature of the modeling software allowed stakeholders to see how their interests and values were represented in the decision process. The development of a stakeholder governance structure and communication mechanism has been critical to the success of the project.

Publication Year 2009
Title Engaging stakeholders for adaptive management using structured decision analysis
Authors Elise R. Irwin, D. Kathryn, Mickett Kennedy
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70176154
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse