A participatory assessment alternates phases of engagement and technical development. The development of evaluation tools and models is time-consuming, especially if stakeholders are to be involved in the development. At this stage, the natural tendency is for everyone to turn to their own activity and speciality. On the one hand, scientists are absorbed in data collection, model development or scientific analysis. On the other hand, managers and policy makers follow the territorial agenda, which also involves the development of management tools. It is critical at this stage to maintain engagement so that scientific developments remain anchored in the issues of the territory and to avoid the risk of one partner imposing its technical solution.

Maintaining a cooperative process throughout has various advantages in terms of ownership, legitimacy and relevance of the assessment. Cooperation is not just about informing or consulting, but about involving managers and stakeholders in the technical development process.

There are many ways to maintain engagement: communication with the stakeholder forum after the ‘common culture’ workshop, data and knowledge exchange, focus groups, scenario building workshops, model co-construction workshops, etc. The emphasis here is on the fact that the different tools, the models in particular, must integrate the knowledge of stakeholders in their design, parameterisation and scenarios, including the consideration of uncertainties.

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Date: 2017-2023

Improving the management of atlantic landscapes: acounting for biodiversity and ecosystem services Interreg Atlantic Area, started in 2017

Coordination by J. Ballé-Béganton and D. Bailly

Photo: © Mohd Hafiz Yahya / Unsplash