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Petersen A.C.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | Cath A.,Narratio Knowledge and Advice | Hage M.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | Kunseler E.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | And 2 more authors.
Science Technology and Human Values | Year: 2011

About a decade ago, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) unwittingly embarked on a transition from a technocratic model of science advising to the paradigm of "post-normal science" (PNS). In response to a scandal around uncertainty management in 1999, a Guidance for "Uncertainty Assessment and Communication" was developed with advice from the initiators of the PNS concept and was introduced in 2003. This was followed in 2007 by a "Stakeholder Participation" Guidance. In this article, the authors provide a combined insider/outsider perspective on the transition process. The authors assess the extent to which the PNS paradigm has delivered new approaches in the agency's practice and analyze two projects-on long-term options for Dutch sustainable development policy and for urban development policy-the latter in somewhat more detail. The authors identify several paradoxes PBL encounters when putting the PNS concept into practice. It is concluded that an openness to other styles of work than the technocratic model has become visible, but that the introduction of the PNS paradigm is still in its early stage. © The Author(s) 2011.

Ward P.J.,VU University Amsterdam | Jongman B.,VU University Amsterdam | Weiland F.S.,Deltares | Bouwman A.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

Globally, economic losses from flooding exceeded $19 billion in 2012, and are rising rapidly. Hence, there is an increasing need for global-scale flood risk assessments, also within the context of integrated global assessments. We have developed and validated a model cascade for producing global flood risk maps, based on numerous flood return-periods. Validation results indicate that the model simulates interannual fluctuations in flood impacts well. The cascade involves: hydrological and hydraulic modelling; extreme value statistics; inundation modelling; flood impact modelling; and estimating annual expected impacts. The initial results estimate global impacts for several indicators, for example annual expected exposed population (169 million); and annual expected exposed GDP ($1383 billion). These results are relatively insensitive to the extreme value distribution employed to estimate low frequency flood volumes. However, they are extremely sensitive to the assumed flood protection standard; developing a database of such standards should be a research priority. Also, results are sensitive to the use of two different climate forcing datasets. The impact model can easily accommodate new, user-defined, impact indicators. We envisage several applications, for example: identifying risk hotspots; calculating macro-scale risk for the insurance industry and large companies; and assessing potential benefits (and costs) of adaptation measures. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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