Collaborative, Stakeholder-Driven Resource Modeling and Management

Collaborative, Stakeholder-Driven Resource Modeling and Management

Howard Passell, Marissa Reno, Jesse Roach, Vince Tidwell, Wael Khairy
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-907-1.ch003
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It is becoming increasingly difficult to manage natural resources due to population growth, increasing resource consumption, and decreasing resource availability, among other issues. To address this, we present a collaborative, stakeholder-driven resource modeling and management approach that has been applied successfully around the world. Diverse stakeholder groups assure that all important systems, data, and knowledge are represented. User-friendly, system dynamics models with short run times allow users to quickly simulate alternative resource management strategies, making the models valuable for public meetings and for informing and educating stakeholders, policy makers, and citizens. This approach also facilitates capacity building in regions where collaborative processes and modeling technologies are not widespread. Case studies illustrate the application of these approaches in the United States, Jordan, and Libya, as well as the Aral Sea Basin and Tigris-Euphrates Basin. We show how the models look and work, and the kinds of results that can be produced.
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The Collaborative, Stakeholder-Driven Approach

A broad, collaborative, stakeholder-driven modeling and analytical approach is crucial for developing a process and model that meets several important objectives.

First, the stakeholder group must include people who are in positions of importance relative to the resource management issues. It is critical to have stakeholders from ministries, universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civic groups. All parties important to the resource management problem should be included in the process for two reasons: (1) resource management problems can be exceedingly complex, and so a broad array of stakeholders are required to assure that all aspects of the problem are being considered so that all relevant and available information and data can be found and included; (2) results from the entire process stand a greater chance of being ignored or marginalized by people and institutions with importance to the resource management if they are not included in the collaborative process. In fact, people and institutions not included in the process can become outright enemies of the process and its results, and can create obstacles to efforts at implementation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Modeling: The process by which data and information for a natural system are conceptualized and represented numerically.

User-Friendly: Easily accessible by a broad audience.

Natural Resources: Materials and/or capacities supplied by nature.

Interdependencies: The complex relationships between various natural resource characteristics.

Alternative Resource Management Strategies: A set of diverse management schemes that lead to a similar outcome.

System Dynamics: An approach for capturing the complex inter- and intra- dependencies that characterize systems, including feedback over time.

Collaborative: A process that is undertaken cooperatively, guided by a commonly-understood vision.

Stakeholder: An individual or organization who will be impacted by the outcome of the decision making process relevant to the natural resource in question.

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