Overview Identify key reporting themes: Water Habitats Living Resources Use key questions to report on each theme 12 questions in total Questions across a range of ecological factors Consider state and trend Answers are “predetermined” Gradations help to ensure consistency and remove discretion
12 Questions Water To what extent do human activities influence water quality and inputs and how are they changing? To what extents are altered nutrient loads affecting ecosystem health and how are they changing? To what extent do water conditions pose risks to human health and how are they changing?
12 questions Habitats To what extent do human activities influence habitat extent and quality, and how are they changing? To what extent do contaminants in habitats affect living resources or water quality, and how are they changing? To what extent does habitat alteration, including the extent and distribution of major habitat types, affect ecosystem health, and how is it changing?
12 questions Living Resources To what extent do human activities influence living resource quality and how are they changing? What is the status of biodiversity & how is it changing? What is the status of extracted species & how is it changing? What is the status and condition of key species & how is it changing? What is the status and condition of species at risk and how is it changing? What is the status of alien species & how is it changing?
Overview continued Draw on scientific evidence, monitoring information, community and traditional knowledge (best available knowledge) to address questions Questions answered through grid Evidence required Gaps to be documented Grid converted to scores where answers possible Apply a consistent baseline: the most pristine condition for a site that can be identified and supported by scientific or other evidence Focus on the last five years Draw on historical data to project future
Capture knowledge Monitoring data is key, but understanding what it means is also important Need a systematic way to capture knowledge and interpret best available information Can’t make an assessment where knowledge is insufficient and confidence is low
Key Challenges Overcoming the “perfect knowledge” syndrome The exercise is evidence-based Those who know the evidence are the only ones able to make statements on the basis of best available information Overcoming the “perfect data” syndrome If there are clear gaps, and confidence in making statements is low, this should be the result Data is not perfect, but is there enough to inform an answer to the question?
What exactly is the method? Go through all 12 questions Introduce and understand the question Share knowledge if you have any Determine state, with a description of findings Determine trend, with a description of findings Document evidence Convert result to scores
What is a state? What is state?
State State is the relative condition of a variable in time With respect to the scorecard, it is selected based on graded, predetermined values for each question/variable
Example Theme: Water/Nutrient health Question: To what extents are altered nutrient loads affecting ecosystem health and how are they changing?
Factors to consider What is the evidence? What does the evidence suggest?
What is a trend?
Trend Trend is the direction and speed with which a variable is changing in time With respect to the scorecard, it is selected based on graded, predetermined values for each question/variable
Example Theme: Environmental Quality Question: To what extents are altered nutrient loads affecting ecosystem health and how are they changing?
Rapidly improving Conditions appear to be changing at a rate that will lead to an improved state within 5 years ImprovingConditions are improving Stable Within the bounds of normal variation, no consistent changes are anticipated from either anthropogenic or other sources DiminishingConditions are diminishing Rapidly diminishing Conditions appear to be changing at a rate that will lead to a diminished state within 5 years ? Undetermined There is insufficient information to establish a basis for the trend or data highly variable and trends can’t be distinguished
Factors to consider Needs to be consistently scoped Baseline 5 years, next trend assessment If possible, distinguish between anthropogenic and natural sources of change in description –Anecdotes –Describe links and causes –Promote “self-directed inquiry” - as clear as needed to ask questions
How is this done best? Need input and reactions from all participants Sharing evidence and methods is important to credibility of initiative and to developing an inventory of monitoring protocols and approaches
NAMPAN portal Used to collect and share evidence Used to collect and share scorecards Visit or for more information
Other tools Notes at the meeting Collect and manage hardcopy Reference/document management system
How to capture expert opinion?
Implement in workshop setting Face-to-face is key Questions are shared beforehand Clear communication of approach Preparation of evidence in advance of workshop
Aim for Consensus Consensus is reached when everyone can live with a single collective answer to a question (state and trend) Where consensus is not possible, it will be best to apply a process that ensures any dissent is tracked and a final score is reached One solution is to use the Delphi method
Use multiple voting Apply to controversial questions (consensus not possible) Be sure question is clear Share evidence Allow voting on State Trend Discuss results, revisit possibility of consensus