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POLDOC-WORKSHOP, Gdansk, 26 October 2006. The importance of stakeholder dialogues in climate change adaptation. Prof. Dr. Martin Welp University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde. Photo: Hannah Förster. Prof. Dr. Martin Welp Socioeconomics & Communication. New International Masters Programme:

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POLDOC-WORKSHOP, Gdansk, 26 October 2006

The importance of stakeholder dialogues in climate change adaptation

Prof. Dr. Martin Welp

University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde

Photo: Hannah Förster


Prof. Dr. Martin Welp

Socioeconomics & Communication

New International Masters Programme:

Global Change Management


  • Coastal management and climate change
  • Management, policy and scientific stakeholder dialogues
  • Analytical and communication tools
  • Conclusions
europe s coasts
Europe‘s coasts
  • High diversity of coastal areas (from urban centres to coastal wetlands with protected areas for birds)
  • Many of Europe's coastal zones face problems of deterioration of their environmental, socioeconomic and cultural resources
key coastal concerns
Key coastal concerns
  • Quality of coastal waters
  • Nature conservation
  • Construction activities on the coast
  • Coastal erosion
  • Tourism development
  • Climate change
emerging issue climate change
Emerging issue: climate change
  • Rising sea levels
  • Storm surges
  • Winterstorms
  • Coastal flooding
  • Air humudity

Photos: National Trust, UK, Sten Suuroja

four coastal management styles
Four coastal management styles

Integrated approach

Social engineering

Management as mutual learning


Participatory approach

Sector-based participatorymanagement

Routine management

Sectoral approach

Welp 2000

stakeholder dialogues
Stakeholder dialogues
  • Planning for adaptation as a process of mutual learning
  • Stakeholders include planners, decision-makers, politicians, scientists, and the interested public
  • Finding ways to adapt to climate change
  • Raising awareness of climate change and coastal issues
management dialogues
Management dialogues
  • Coastal zone management on local and regional level
  • Carried out by municipalities, sectoral agencies, etc.
  • Stakeholders include land owners, businesses, local interest groups etc.

EU Demonstration Programme on

  • From 1996-1999, Information about factors that encourage or discourage ICZM
  • Stimulating a broad debate and exchange of information among the various actors involved in the planning, management or use of European coastal zones
  • Stakeholder consultations (seminars, written responses)
  • Evaluation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Europe
  • The results of this evaluation shall assist the European Commission
science based dialogues
Science-based dialogues
  • A science-based stakeholder dialogue is a structured communicative process of linking scientists with selected actors who are relevant for the research problem at hand.
  • These actors may be representatives of companies, NGOs, local and regional planners, government agencies, etc.

Objectives of science-based dialogues

  • Bringing together different knowledge bases
  • Identifying socially relevant research questions
  • Identifying key data and parameters
  • ‘Reality check’
    • - confronting mental models with reality
    • - confronting computer models with reality
  • Preferences, expectations and decision-making rules
communication tools
Communication tools
  • Creating settings in which stakeholders with different backgrounds can team up and learn
  • Examples: Focus Groups (ULYSSES), Games and role plays (ECF family of Climate Games), Visualisation
analytical tools
Analytical tools
  • Structuring the problem
  • Identifying areas of agreement and disagreement among stakeholders
  • Examples: Group model building, Bayesian belief networks, Multi-criteria Analysis
  • Limited resources (stakeholder dialogues need to be effective)
  • Stereotyping
  • Trust building takes time
  • Language barriers
  • Different working cultures
  • Difficulties in systems thinking


  • We need to create safe places where the exchange of arguments is possible
  • A combination of communication and analytical tools is needed
  • We need to link scientific, policy and management dialogues
  • Mainstreaming
forthcoming book
Forthcoming book

Stoll-Kleemann, S. & Welp, M. (eds.) Stakeholder Dialogues in Natural Resources Management. Springer Environmental Sciences(November 15, 2006)

thank you
Thank you!

Email: martin.welp@fh-eberswalde.deURL: www.