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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 78, June 2013, Pages 101–111
Decision Support Systems (DSS) are considered innovative tools to cope with climate change related issues and support decision-makers in a sustainable management of natural resources and in the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and adaptation plans. Involving DSS end users since the beginning of the development of a DSS is recognised as fundamental in order to design a tool that can meet stakeholders needs. However, from the analysis of the risk based DSSs at the regional and/or local scale, emerges a lack of application of participatory approaches, despite their acknowledged relevance to the current scientific literature and regulations. Accordingly, in order to respond to the needs of the DSS end users (i.e. public institutions dealing with coastal management and administration), this paper describes the development of a participative approach for a DSS named DESYCO, aimed at the assessment of climate change related impacts and risks on natural and human systems. The participative approach was carried out by means of the integration of participative moments in the DESYCO framework, the identification of potential end users through a preliminary stakeholder analysis and finally the design, administration and analysis of a questionnaire addressed to the end users identified in the case study area of the North Adriatic Italian coast. 37 potential DSS end users for the case study were identified and addressed by a survey investigating their knowledge about climate change impacts on coastal zone, ICZM strategy and implementation, DSS functionalities. The questionnaire allowed to gain information that both confirmed the validity of the methodology choices of DESYCO and supplied some useful contribution to the selection of further stakeholders. From the results it emerges a lack of knowledge about ICZM and climate change issues. Moreover public institutions ask for short time frame hazard scenarios while the DSS, depending on the available information supplied by models, focuses especially on long term scenarios.
Worldwide coastal zones represent irreplaceable and fragile ecosystems with high ecological, economic and social relevance. Coasts are the result of a dynamic and unpredictable interdependent set of subsystems, and they are under increasing anthropogenic pressure being home for the majority of the world population and their economic activities (Nicholls et al., 2009). Climate change and sea level rise represent a serious threat to coastal areas that will increase the risks of erosion, storm surge flooding, changes in water quality and loss of biodiversity (IPCC, 2007; Mee, 2009). The Mediterranean basin has been identified as a climate change “hotspot” expected to undergo environmental impacts considerably greater than in other places around the world (Billé and Rochette, 2008; García-Ruiz José et al., 2011; Giorgi and Lionello, 2008; Lejeusne et al., 2010; Magnan et al., 2009; Perry, 2005; Plan Bleu, 2010). Consequently, there is a growing demand of management strategies that take into account at the same time the vulnerability of the coastal zones and the needs of the various social and economic coastal sectors (Nicholls and Hoozemans, 1996). These management strategies, like the ecosystem approach, should facilitate decisions despite the high degree of uncertainty related to climate change and the complexity of coastal ecosystems (De Santo, 2010). Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), born as a strategy aiming to promote sustainability in the development and management of coastal zones, emerged as the most appropriate process for dealing with current and long term problems like climate change threats. Within ICZM, adaptation strategies aim to respond to climate change impacts, and provide the needed scientific information and tools (Sarewicz and Pielke, 2007). However, while the definition of guidelines and principles of adaptation is done at the higher international level (COM (2007) 354 final; COM (2002) 413; COM (2009) 147 final; UNEP/MAP, 2008), the actual implementation of these strategies occurs at the national and sub-national levels. The main actors involved in the coastal management process are therefore national governments, regional and local authorities and other relevant stakeholders like NGOs and representatives of economic sectors. In order to develop appropriate adaptation strategies, national and local policy and decision-makers need significant scientific information and useful tools, provided in the most suitable way. However, a disconnect remains at the intersection between climate change science and decision making: the supply of relevant climate information and forecasts at the appropriate spatial and time scale does not currently match the requirements needed on the demand side, particularly for the implementation of adaptation measures (Cutts et al., 2011). This is so also because the issue of uncertainty constrains the ability of scientists to provide definitive answers in situations where management must continue, even in the absence of knowledge (Patwardhan et al., 2009; Stojanovic et al., 2009). For what concerns both the temporal and spatial scales, scientists are not yet able to meet the specific needs of the decision makers about climate change (McNie, 2007); decision makers ask for time horizons of 20–30 years and not long term scenarios (i.e. 100 years) as proposed so far by the scientific community (Tribbia and Moser, 2008). Considering the spatial scale, it has come to light that no method yet exists to provide confident predictions about the impacts of climate change from the regional down to the local scales (Chen et al., 2011). Therefore innovative methods are needed to bridge the gap between the large scale of future climate change scenarios provided by climate models and the fine scale where local impacts happen as a consequence of changed climate conditions. Among the most innovative tools to be used in coping with climate change in coastal zones, Decision Support Systems (DSSs) are meant to supply the necessary link between the climate change information provided by scientists and the information needed by coastal stakeholders at regional and local levels. For what concerns DSSs for climate change impact analysis, several examples can be found in literature (e.g. Jolma et al., 2010; IGCI, 2001), some of them focussing on coastal zones (e.g. CZMC, 1993; DINAS-COAST, 2006; Engelen et al., 1995; Mokrech et al., 2011; Warrick, 2009; Westmacott, 2001). Involving DSS end users since the beginning of the development of a DSS is recognised as fundamental in order to design a tool that can meet stakeholders needs (Lautenbach et al., 2009; Matthies et al., 2007; Uran and Janssen, 2003; Westmacott, 2001). However, from the analysis of the risk based DSSs at the regional and/or local scale, emerges a lack of application of participatory approaches, despite their acknowledged relevance to the current scientific literature and regulations. In those few cases where participation is applied, these experiences are related to methods and results of participative approaches applied in DSS development, mostly regarding the identification of DSS stakeholders (Engelen, 2000) and the interface evaluation of the DSS made by the end users (Lawrence et al., 2002). As far as Italy is concerned, some of the most recent water resource management DSSs (e.g. Soncini-Sessa et al., 2003; Fais et al., 2004; La Jeunesse et al., 2003) focused on the role of stakeholders participation in decision-making and were designed to involve a wide range of actors and stakeholders (e.g. by means of end users analysis and collection of preferences) (Abuzeid and Afifi, 2006). The different steps of a participative approach used in a DSS are outlined by Soncini-Sessa et al. (2003). In order to respond to coastal stakeholders' needs for useful information and tools for climate change adaptation strategies through a participative process, the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate change (CMCC) developed a participatory approach for a DEcision support SYstem for COastal climate change impact assessment called DESYCO (Torresan et al., 2009, 2010). This DSS, applied to the case study of the Italian North Adriatic coastal area, was developed to assess climate change related impacts and risks on natural and human systems. The purpose of this paper is therefore to demonstrate the importance of participation and moreover to present the procedure, steps and results of an end-users involvement process for the development of the DSS applied in the case study of the North Adriatic coastal area. The end users involvement was done by means of the integration of participative steps in the DESYCO framework, the identification of potential DSS end users through a preliminary stakeholder analysis and finally the design, administration and analysis of a questionnaire addressed to the DSS end-users identified in the case study area. The questionnaire was aimed at investigating the knowledge of stakeholders about climate change, DSSs and ICZM. In the next sections, after a presentation of the case study area, the method and the results of the stakeholder involvement for the development of DESYCO are described and discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, starting from the conceptual framework of the Decision Support System DESYCO, aimed at the integrated assessment and management of climate change impacts and risks on coastal zones on a regional scale, a participative approach for it was developed in order to design a tool according to the needs of end users. Despite the broad recognition of the importance of end users' involvement in the development of a DSS, only a few studies related to the methods and results of participative approaches applied in DSS development can be found in the existing literature. Therefore this paper is meant to show the steps, methodology and results of the integration of a participatory process in a DSS. Some of the participation steps of the referring DSS framework were applied by means of a questionnaire in the case study area in order to gain information from the potential DSS end users. This survey allowed for the accomplishment of some of the aims of the participation assessments integrated in the DSS framework; one of the results of the administration of the questionnaire is a preliminary stakeholder analysis for the case study of the Italian North Adriatic coast (from the mouth of the Po River to the Italy-Slovenia border) with the identification of 37 potential DSS end users (i.e. public institutions concerned with the management and/or administration of coastal zones) involved in the questionnaire. In turn, by answering the questions, the respondents suggested further relevant stakeholders' involvement in the development of a DSS. The list of stakeholders identified with the contribution of respondents can be considered a starting point to proceed further in the development of a stakeholder analysis. Furthermore, the survey allowed for gaining information that both confirmed the validity of the methodology choices and supplied various useful contributions to the DSS framework. DESYCO should integrate information on ICZM due to the lack of knowledge on this issue emerged from the survey, stressing the role of ICZM in broad strategies that implement action for adaptation. Further information on climate change impact severity should be provided to justify methodology choices (e.g. explaining that time frame scenarios are dependent on climate model output). Future research development on participative approaches in the DSS concerns enhancing the involvement of the end users in the development of the various phases of the DSS framework by means of suitable participation tools and methods (e.g. workshops), thus accomplishing the other proposed participative assessments integrated within the DESYCO framework.