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Step 5. Gather expert knowledge
In preparation of inviting the stakeholder forum to a first common culture meeting, existing knowledge about environmental issues and BGIN identified in the first round of mapping of the territory should start being gathered and organised. This knowledge should address the natural sciences aspects but also give a historical and socio-economic view of the territory.
The knowledge can be found in existing databases and scientific or general litterature.
In addition, running exploratory interviews with relevant stakeholders is an efficient way to collect expert knowledge and opinion.
Semi-structured interviews are commonly used in policy and environmental research to collect qualitative data. Through an interview, three types of information can be gathered:
expert knowledge and data, factual data or record of specific events;
positions and arguments reflecting collective stakeholding;
specific features of personal trajectories.
Such interviews enable respondents to express their view on a set of selected questions but also to raise issues that the project core team may not have considered and to bring up new ideas. Interviews are also a highly efficient way to start engaging stakeholders. It is a good opportunity to introduce a project and collect individual point of views.