Friday, February 23, 2024

UK NEA follow-on phase

Work Package 7: Response options and their viability concerning NEA scenarios



Options appraisal techniques are commonly applied to assess the trade-offs resulting from alternative policy or management responses. We investigate how an ecosystem approach can provide a more joined-up framework for this analysis that also incorporates the likelihood that future change scenarios may challenge desired outcomes. This can be facilitated through a practical tool that allows the implications of decisions on sustainable ecosystem services to be assessed at multiple scales.



To assess the robustness of current policies/practices/institutions against future change, and therefore the implications for the design of future response options


In order to develop robust responses to sustain ecosystem services, the various different options need to be assessed against multiple criteria, and in particular against future changes. Hence, there is a strong link to WP6 which is further developing a consistent set of NEA scenarios based upon key drivers such as trade/commodity fluctuations and climate change. Appraisal of options will highlight key actors and governance arrangements in delivering ecosystem services, whether through incentives, regulation, voluntary actions or other types of schemes. It will also define the cross-scale interactions (local, regional and national contexts) for delivering multiple benefits from ecosystem services. This work will also link with the development of practical decision-making and participatory tools in WP10.

We have evaluated barriers and enablers for key sectors (biodiversity; water resources; agriculture; forestry; marine & fisheries; urban and infrastructure) and also across sectors. This is contextualized against major policy initiatives with forward-looking components, notably the reformed Common Agricultural Policy, Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and the transition to a Low Carbon Economy.




Opportunity for input

Anticipated audience(s)

Core methodology

Completed. May 2013

Workshop; review of options shortlist

Professional bodies; academic

Results – case studies

National – June 2013. Local – September 2013.

Stakeholder review (national and local)

National/local government; agencies; NGOs; professional bodies; academic

Final report

Draft. June 2013

Peer review

Academic ; government agencies; NGOs

Policy briefs

Expected November 2013

Interviews; review

Policymakers;  agencies; NGOs; professional bodies

Integration into NEAFO tool kit

Expected October 2013

Stakeholder review

National/local government; agencies;  NGOs;  professional bodies

Methods/tools being developed:

Common framework for scenario analysis and options appraisal (with WP6)

Options appraisal and screening against future drivers based upon multiple criteria and multiple scales (‘wind-tunneling’ or ‘stress-testing’ procedure against the changes in the UK NEA scenarios)

Assessment of compatible suites of response options including statutory, economic and voluntary schemes.

Design of participatory procedures for options appraisal  (stakeholder workshops)

Anticipated Case Studies:

National-scale: High-level response options

Local case study: Specific response options

Links to other Work packages:

WP3a: Compatible bundles of policies for economic and wider options appraisal.

WP3b: Integration of marine sector with land-based sectors.

WP4: Role of culture and behaviour on the implementation of response options: participatory exercises.

WP5: Improved understanding of the role of cultural and shared values in decision-making.

WP6: Common framework for scenario analysis (time slices, spatial scales, drivers, joint stakeholder workshop).

WP8: Role of institutional and other barriers/enablers to uptake of the ecosystem approach

WP9/WP10: Incorporation of options appraisal into NEAFO toolkit for end-users.



Principal Investigators:

Iain Brown (James Hutton Institute)

Paula Harrison (University of Oxford)

Team Members – Sectoral :

Pam Berry (University of Oxford)

Les Firbank (University of Leeds)

John Rowan (University of Dundee)

Chris Quine & Kevin Watts (Forest Research)

Lian Lundy (Middlesex University)

Rebecca Wade (University of Abertay)

Stephen Hull & Susannah Walmsley (ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd.)

Mel Austen (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

Stakeholder Advisory Group

Gary Kass (Natural England)

Jayne Ashley (Spiral Delta)

Sue Christie (Northern Ireland Environment Link)

Mark Everard (Pundamilia Ltd)


Resource allocated: £100,000


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