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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences eTheses
Title: Developing Engagement Methodologies to Balance Stakeholder Views across Scottish Catchments
Author(s): Stosch, Kathleen Charlotte
Supervisor(s): Oliver, David M
Bunnefeld, Nils
Quilliam, Richard S
Keywords: Integrated Catchment Management
Ecosystem Services
Water Energy Food Nexus
socio-ecological systems
stakeholder participation
trade-offs and synergies
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Ensuring water, food and energy security for a growing world population represents a 21st century catchment management challenge. Failure to recognise the complexity of interactions across socio-ecological systems can risk the loss of key environmental and socio-economic benefits. In particular, the ability of soil and water to meet human needs is undermined by uncertainties around climate change effects, ecosystem service interactions and land use change. Competing stakeholder demands and pressures on land and water resources further complicate catchment management and may lead to land use conflict. Understanding ecosystem service provisioning and trade-offs within catchments, as well as potential synergies and conflict among stakeholder groups, is therefore critical to underpin sustainable use of natural resources. This thesis developed a series of novel engagement methodologies to investigate stakeholder perspectives on opportunities and challenges associated with land and water management in Scottish catchments. The first objective was to assess trade-offs across catchment uses. Using the production possibility frontier concept, stakeholder assessments of a trade-off between agricultural intensity and the ecological health of freshwater systems were determined and revealed sources of conflict and a diversity of views, especially between environmental regulators and farm advisors. The second objective was to use catchment-scale participatory mapping to identify stakeholder perceptions of land and water management conflicts. This provided spatial detail of the complex combination of land use issues faced by catchment managers. The third objective was to analyse stakeholder networks which identified differences in underlying land and water management issues among the study catchments. The methodology elicited perceived core and periphery stakeholders and those which were not mentioned at all. A final objective was to evaluate the perceived relative effectiveness of agri-environment measures to reduce diffuse pollution on downstream water courses, increase habitat quality to support biodiversity and attenuate flood waters. A best-worst scaling survey of 68 land and water management expert stakeholders revealed “win-win” opportunities for multiple ecosystem service provisioning in Scottish catchments. The thesis highlights the importance of facilitating increased cooperation and understanding among different stakeholders by quantifying otherwise implicitly held stakeholder views. The methodologies identified potential sources of conflict and likely solutions for win-win opportunities and reinforce the value of accessing and sharing a range of stakeholder perspectives, but also the need to capitalise on this expert knowledge and integrate it into participatory decision-making processes to better manage competing demands on catchment resources.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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