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Understanding, communicating and managing uncertainty and risk related to future changes in catchments.

CCN News

Advances in Flood Risk Management Science - Outcomes from UK Collaborative Research
added on 01 08 2011 by Clare Black
The Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC) is a multi-disciplinary team of leading researchers undertaking cutting edge research in flood risk Read more..

The Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC) is a multi-disciplinary team of leading researchers undertaking cutting edge research in flood risk management.  Since March 2004 the  research team has generated over 300 journal and conference papers, 20 technical reports and held  over 50 dissemination events.   The Conference programme is designed to showcase the key practical  outputs from the research and allow audience participation in discussing the research outcomes and  shaping the future research agenda.  This free event is also an opportunity for participants to trial some of the tools developed as part of the research.

As a cost effective CPD event, attendance is open to anyone with an interest in flood risk  management research and is free, provided delegate registration details are received by the  19th August 2011 (thereafter an administration charge is payable).

Registration (please provide name and organisation) should be made to Joanne Astbury at /tel 0131 451 4612, School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.  Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Click link below.

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Catchment-based Approach- New Environment Agency Web Site
added on 20 07 2011 by Clare Black
The Environment Agency is exploring improved ways of engaging with people and organisations that can make a difference to the health of all our inland Read more..

The Environment Agency is exploring improved ways of engaging with people and organisations that can make a difference to the health of all our inland waters, from source to sea. They want to explore what more can be achieved for the water environment by working together in catchments – areas with several, often interconnected water bodies (rivers, lakes, ground water and coastal waters).

For more information http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/131506.aspx

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CCN Conference at Arup on stakeholder participation another success
added on 19 07 2011 by Clare Black
  Our second Catchment Change Network (CCN) Annual Conference at the Arup Campus, Solihull was a great success. attended the event supported by Read more..

 

Our second Catchment Change Network (CCN) Annual Conference at the Arup Campus, Solihull was a great success. attended the event supported by CIWEM (North West) on Tuesday July 5th.

The was designed to explore how Guidelines could represent a useful tool to encourage stakeholder participation across catchment management.

Invited presentations provided a unique opportunity to learn how a range of organisations and initiatives are optimising success. A series of interesting case studies highlighted the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned. All the conference outputs, including individual slide presentations and video recordings have been posted on our .

Discussion sessions gave delegates the opportunity to reflect on designing participatory processes, the challenges this creates and solutions that allow progress. The event has raised the possibility of developing some general Guidelines for Stakeholder Interaction involving risk and uncertainty.

Keith Beven has provided a personal reflection via our CCN ‘Catchment Conversations’ Blog ”.

 

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Where are the Guidelines for the Participatory Process?
added on 11 07 2011 by Clare Black
Reflections on the 2nd Annual Meeting of CCN   The 2nd Annual Meeting of CCN was held under the title “Guidelines for Good Practice as a way of Read more..
Reflections on the 2nd Annual Meeting of CCN

 

The 2nd Annual Meeting of CCN was held under the title “Guidelines for Good Practice as a way of encouraging stakeholder involvement across catchment management” at the Arup Campus, Solihull.   It provided an excellent set of talks and
discussions which may be found at (see ).   And it made me think….

 

When reflecting some years ago on how to introduce more realistic assessments of uncertainty into flood risk management, the concept of Guidelines for Good Practice seemed to be a sensible way of introducing a framework for allowing for the subjectivity inherent in representing different sources of uncertainty.   Structuring such guidelines as a set of decisions, where different degrees of effort might be invoked for different types of application is also a sensible way of allowing for proportionality and lack of knowledge in uncertainty assessments.   Such decisions would need to be agreed between analyst and users or stakeholders and this seemed to me to be a useful structure for agreeing assumptions, communicating the meaning of uncertainty assessments, and providing an audit trail for later evaluation and revisions.

 

This still seems fine, but also too simplistic.  It was intended to provide a structure that decides on how uncertainties can be handled in a scientific assessment (originally in flood risk management).  It was not intended as a guide as to HOW to manage user or stakeholder involvement.   It already assumes that it is possible for the stakeholders to come to a sensible agreement about those many and different decisions in the analysis process. This would then seem to demand a different form of Guideline document to guide Good Practice involving stakeholders in the process.   Many of the talks at the CCN meeting were about this:  posing questions about how to do it, reflecting on experience of trying to do it, discussing the issues that it raises when many different groups and levels of stakeholders (“emotive” / “institutional” / “financial” ; organised / disorganised; ….).  These issues are common to all the focus areas of CCN.  They are even incorporated into practice in the form of the Water Framework and Floods Directives.  It would therefore seem worthwhile to consider whether it might be possible to produce a Guideline for Good Practice document for stakeholder involvement and the participatory process that would be relevant across the focus areas.

 

A good topic for a future CCN workshop at least – but given all the experience of doing stakeholder involvement already, some guidance should already exist, should it not?    Any suggestions from the community out there about where to look? Or about what works and what doesn’t?   Or whether developing such a guidance process might be worthwhile or not?   Any suggestions or comments (to ) welcome!

 

 

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N8/CCN debate tackles ecosystem valuation with an online audience
added on 08 07 2011 by Clare Black
The second N8 Debate on Valuing the Environment: Looking beyond the Economics took place on the 26th May  2011 at the Lancaster Environment Centre and Read more..

The second N8 Debate on Valuing the Environment: Looking beyond the Economics took place on the 26th May  2011 at the Lancaster Environment Centre and was a resounding success.

Chaired by Professor Louise Heathwaite, the event featured interactive questioning and input from a range of remote participants engaging online. Panel members included Ian Bateman (UEA), Allan Provins (eftec), Topsy Rudd (Cascade
Consulting) and Graham Harris (Lancaster University).

Supported by over 75 delegates the debate began with an overview of the concept of ecosystem services, its role within decision making and current  methods used for valuation.

Watch the  debate via Adobe Connect

Discussion topics supported the need to improve or develop new means of  valuing ecosystem services that recognise both the complexity and the  connectivity across different ecosystem services. Given that knowledge of our  environment is imperfect, a particular challenge discussed during the debate focussed on developing methods that are not based on monetary values
(recognising that value is not the same as price!) and can incorporate complexity and uncertainty. The panel highlighted the need to distinguish clearly between benefits and values, because different groups place assorted values on benefits. Values assigned are subjective and vary widely across time and space; therefore, the social sciences have a key role to play at the
interface with natural sciences to develop appropriate means of ‘looking beyond the economics’.

One particular point raised during the debate was the need for policy to focus on a longer-term view of ‘value’ to capture the full range of services and benefits that landscape stocks and flows can provide, rather than short-term localised impacts. Longer term planning will provide more thought towards broader public benefits across habitats and throughout catchments, such as flood alleviation and improved water quality.

A collective output from the event will take the form of a policy guidance document that will chart a pathway for future UK policy and action.

Feedback from attendees at the debate and the online audience on the format and use of the technology was extremely positive and has encouraged us to embed interactive web-based technology across our meetings and events portfolio more widely.

Our next N8 Debate Food Security and Sustainable Water Supplies is scheduled to take place at Stockbridge in September 2011.

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