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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

New OpenNESS synthesis paper on stakeholder involvement

The fourth chapter of the OpenNESS Ecosystem Services Reference Book has been published. The latest synthesis paper written by four of our OpenNESS members deals with stakeholder involvement in decision-making and research.

Stakeholder involvement refers to participation of interest groups (i.e. representatives of locally affected communities, national or local government authorities, politicians, civil society organizations and businesses) in a planning or decision-making process. The levels and forms of stakeholder involvement are manifold from informing people to knowledge co-production. Stakeholder involvement is not only regarded as an essential element in environmental management and decision-making. The involvement of stakeholders in research has many advantages, too. For example it enhances relevance of research to address the needs of decision makers and adds legitimacy of the process of knowledge production. Stakeholder involvement is likely to result not only in ‘better’ information and knowledge in terms of the criteria pointed out, but also results in a much richer knowledge, due to the experiential knowledge that stakeholders bring to the table.

In the Description of Work (DOW) of OpenNESS, we have emphasized a transdisciplinary research approach, based on strong stakeholder involvement at various levels of engagement and decision making. The reason for this was that we believe that stakeholder involvement will improve the impact and usefulness of our scientific output for decision-making on biodiversity and ecosystem services across different governance levels.

Synthesis papers represent an agreed conceptual basis for taking the work of OpenNESS forward. The content of them may change over time, as the results of OpenNESS emerge. The reference book will be supported by an extensive glossary.  A final version, incorporating all the material gained throughout the project, will be published at the end of the project life cycle in 2017.

Read the synthesis paper »