Integrated global change impact studies in the Arctic: the role of the stakeholders
AbstractResponses to global change impacts require the specification of mitigation and adaptation options. Integrated regional impact studies provide some of the information needed for rational decision making. In order to carry out a comprehensive impact study, the involvement of stakeholders in the planning and execution of the study is seen as a necessary prerequisite for an acceptance of its conclusions by the broad public. One way to pursue such an involvement is through a scientist-stakeholder collaborative. Such a collaborative, for instance institutionalized through a joint scientist-stakeholder steering committee addressing issues related to mutual communication and the integration of individual study results, offers a number of additional advantages. The experience of local residents and the utilization of traditional knowledge may provide insight and expertise inaccessible to scientific investigations. Within the Barents Sea Impact Study, the involvement of stakeholders has been given significant weight early on. One of the main instruments employed in the stakeholder collaborative is the BASIS Information Office. However, given the diversity of backgrounds and interests of stakeholders from four different countries, scientist-stakeholder collaboration represents a significant challenge within BASIS. This notwithstanding, we consider the advantages gained worth the extra effort.
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