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Third International Seville Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts and implications for policy and decision-making. 16th- 17th October 2008. UK Environmental Futures Identifying the most important dimensions of uncertainty for the environment. Gary Kass.

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Third International Seville Conference onFuture-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA):Impacts and implications for policy and decision-making

16th- 17th October 2008

UK Environmental Futures Identifying the most important dimensions of uncertainty for the environment

Gary Kass

Natural England


UK Environmental Futures

Environment Research Funders’ Forum

  • [Content]

ERFF brings together the major UK public sector supporters of environmental science to maximise the coherence and

effectiveness of funding for UK environmental sciences


UK Environmental Futures

Outline

UK Futures

Futures in Environmental Research and Policy

Dimensions of Uncertainty Project

The Final Shortlist

Reflections

Where next for environmental futures?


UK Environmental Futures

UK Futures

“Governments have always been concerned about the future. It is the extent to which this concern has resulted in systematic, open and effective long-term thinking which has changed.”

(UK Public Administration Select Committee, 2007)


UK Environmental Futures

Futures in Environmental Research and Policy

BSE was a catalyst for forward thinking

The UK Government responded broadly and deeply

The UK research sector has begun to respond…

The Environment Research Funders Forum

Living With Environmental Change Programme


UK Environmental Futures

Dimensions of Uncertainty

ERFF Board horizon scanning workshop and advisory board

  • Dimensions of Uncertainty Study - Aims

  • Identify the most important dimensions of uncertainty that could impact on the UK’s interests over the next twenty years;

  • Frame a shared understanding of the future environment for members of the UK Environment Research Funders Forum (ERFF);

  • Help ERFF members identify shared priorities; and

  • inform individual members’ own strategies


UK Environmental Futures

Dimensions of Uncertainty

Phases

  • Consultation - interviews & workshops (108 participants, 75 issues)

  • Prioritization - online voting (80 participants, 22 issues)

  • Validation - workshop (72 participants, 11 issues)


UK Environmental Futures

The Final Shortlist

  • Cities and the environment

  • Economic growth within environmental limits

  • Costs and benefits of renewable energy

  • Food Production

  • Sustainability of the water supply

  • Changing behaviours

  • Changing ecosystems

  • Reducing uncertainty around climate change impacts

  • Transport and mobility

  • Consequences of population movement

  • Deploying technology


UK Environmental Futures

Reflections

Environmental research needs to

  • Anticipate: the past doesn’t define the future

  • Integrate: environment within its social and economic context

  • Internationalise: the UK environment in its international context

  • Innovate: develop policy tools for handling complexity & uncertainty

  • Lead: strength & vision…”step up to the plate”


UK Environmental Futures

Reflections

Pit-falls and Elephant-traps

  • Sins of commission: you only get what you ask for

  • Breadth vs depth: capturing the richness of futures thinking

  • Expert bias: ensure balance in perspectives and challenge framings

  • Collective action problems: catalyse individuals or seek joint-action?

  • Mission-creep: what is are the purposes and limits of collaboration?


UK Environmental Futures

Where next for environmental futures?

Initiatives in the UK

  • Dept of Innovation, Universities and Skills:

    • UK Futures social and economic scenarios

  • Foresight:

    • projects on Land Use and Energy

  • Defra Delivery Network:

    • Shared Horizon Scanning initiative (CASCADE)

  • UK Climate Impacts Programme:

    • UKCIP08 climate projections

  • Natural England:

    • Scenarios for England’s Natural Environment (ScENE 2050)

  • Living With Environmental Change (LWEC)


UK Environmental Futures

Where next for environmental futures?

Areas for improvement

  • Integration - systems approaches

  • Partnership-shared future, shared environment, shared resource

  • Collaboration - experts, stakeholders & publics

  • Policy-relevance-plugging-in drives direction & application

  • Knowledge exchange -the oil in the machine, but often ignored


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