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Rockmann C.,IMAResearch Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies | Ulrich C.,Technical University of Denmark | Dreyer M.,Dialogik | Bell E.,CEFAS - Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science | And 9 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2012

How can uncertain fisheries science be linked with good governance processes, thereby increasing fisheries management legitimacy and effectiveness? Reducing the uncertainties around scientific models has long been perceived as the cure of the fisheries management problem. There is however increasing recognition that uncertainty in the numbers will remain. A lack of transparency with respect to these uncertainties can damage the credibility of science. The EU Commission's proposal for a reformed Common Fisheries Policy calls for more self-management for the fishing industry by increasing fishers' involvement in the planning and execution of policies and boosting the role of fishers' organisations. One way of higher transparency and improved participation is to include stakeholders in the modelling process itself. The JAKFISH project (Judgment And Knowledge in Fisheries Involving StakeHolders) invited fisheries stakeholders to participate in the process of framing the management problem, and to give input and evaluate the scientific models that are used to provide fisheries management advice. JAKFISH investigated various tools to assess and communicate uncertainty around fish stock assessments and fisheries management. Here, a synthesis is presented of the participatory work carried out in four European fishery case studies (Western Baltic herring, North Sea Nephrops, Central Baltic Herring and Mediterranean swordfish), focussing on the uncertainty tools used, the stakeholders' responses to these, and the lessons learnt. It is concluded that participatory modelling has the potential to facilitate and structure discussions between scientists and stakeholders about uncertainties and the quality of the knowledge base. It can also contribute to collective learning, increase legitimacy, and advance scientific understanding. However, when approaching real-life situations, modelling should not be seen as the priority objective. Rather, the crucial step in a science-stakeholder collaboration is the joint problem framing in an open, transparent way. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Renn O.,University of Stuttgart | Benighaus C.,Dialogik
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2013

Technology has become a familiar companion in all areas of life. Production consumption, administration, education, communication, and leisure activities are all shaped by the use of technologies. However, people often associate with the term technology attributes, such as catastrophic and potentially dangerous, and tend to take the benefits of technological products for granted. This asymmetry in risk-benefit perception is one of the main reasons why many consumers are concerned about hidden risks of technologies and why they demand stringent regulatory actions when they feel unduly exposed to potential emissions or waste products associated with the lifecycle of technologies. This situation is often aggravated by social amplification processes, by which even small risks receive high media attention and are blown out of proportion in the public arena. At the same time, however, one needs to acknowledge that many technologies have the potential to harm the human health and the environment. The purpose of this article is to review our knowledge about risk perception with respect to technologies, in particular emerging technologies, and to suggest possible strategies to use this knowledge for improving our risk management practice. Technological risk perception is defined in this article as the processing of physical signals and/or information about a potentially harmful impact of using technology and the formation of a judgment about seriousness, likelihood, and acceptability of the respective technology. Based on the review of psychological, social, and cultural factors that shape individual and social risk perceptions, we have attempted to develop a structured framework that provides an integrative and systematic perspective on technological risk perception and that may assist risk management and regulation in taking perceptions into account. © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Assmuth T.,Finnish Environment Institute | Hilden M.,Finnish Environment Institute | Benighaus C.,Dialogik
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2010

To call for integration in risk assessment and governance as a self-evident goal is deceptively easy. For more insight, we ask: what level and kind of integration and for what purposes is needed and sufficient? What opportunities and obstacles can be identified for integrative treatment of risks? What causes and impacts are there of developments in risk integration? To answer these questions we investigate the socio-political processes and factors surrounding integrated risk assessment and risk governance through a combination of literature reviews and original research. We emphasize regulatory assessment and governance of risks associated with chemicals in the EU, but we link them with other areas to better grasp options and problems in integration. We relate the problems to political factors and barriers in sector and vertical integration, including deviating interests, and further to conflicting information, concepts and mindsets. Risk assessment and risk governance involve varying notions of risks and knowledge, with tensions between stressor- or impact-oriented, exclusive or inclusive, positivist or relativist, and fixed or reflexive notions and approaches. These tensions influence the trajectories of integration between sectors, actors and regions, constraining the fulfillment of ideals of integrated governance. We conclude that risk assessment and governance can be integrated, harmonized and innovated to a limit only, but this limit is variable and flexible, and provides opportunities especially if attention is paid to the socio-political contexts, value choices and decision structures in each case. Generally, the results underline a reflexive approach whereby the meanings, framings and implications of risk integration are probed in open processes of deliberation and negotiation, as a learning process to transcend the formal and prescriptive modes of regulation and knowledge generation. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. Source

Dreyer M.,Dialogik | Renn O.,University of Stuttgart | Cope S.,Wageningen University | Frewer L.J.,Wageningen University
Food Control | Year: 2010

This paper applies the concepts of social impact assessment (SIA) to the SAFE FOODS risk analysis model highlighting the role that concern assessment, defined as a structured and systematic inclusion of (also wider) social concerns into risk governance, could play in the integration of SIA in food safety governance. SIA is discussed in terms of the European policy background, the historical context, and the introduction of the social impact concept to food safety governance. The proposal focuses on three stages: "preliminary framing" "concern assessment" (serving as a scoping mechanism), and potentially a comprehensive "social impact assessment" This three-step approach can provide orientation on the required extent and design of stakeholder/public participation and insight into the risk-benefit communication process. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Gabbert S.,Wageningen University | Benighaus C.,Dialogik
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2012

Integrated testing strategies (ITSs) have received much attention as promising tools for more resource-efficient hazard and risk assessment of chemicals and for reducing animal use in toxicological testing. The usage of ITSs crucially depends on their acceptance and application by various stakeholder groups, for example chemical industry, scientific organisations and regulatory authorities. However, little is known about stakeholders views on the use and application of ITSs. In this study, we present results from semi-structured interviews with different stakeholder groups. Interviewees were asked to express their personal views and opinions about what an ITS is or should be, about ITS advantages and limitations, about ITS implementation and acceptance and about needs for further research. Using qualitative data analysis, we identified a set of core themes that stakeholders considered most relevant with respect to these six topics. Our results illustrate that stakeholder perspectives differed considerably for each of the topics addressed. We found particularly diverging views across stakeholder groups with respect to ITS limitations and acceptance. This underlines that improving stakeholder integration and intensifying the dialogue about useful and successful ITS applications should receive more attention for strengthening ITSs as effective decision-support tools. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

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