Séminaire CEFE : Deciphering decision support architectures to enhance the impact of ecological science on environmental policies

Mardi 9 avril 2019 – 11h00
 Grande salle de réunion du CEFE | 1e étage, aile C

Deciphering decision support architectures to enhance the impact
of ecological science on environmental policies

Yves Meinard
LAMSADE, CNRS, [UMR 7243], Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, 75016 Paris, France


Abstract: The idea that biodiversity is undergoing a dramatic crisis, accompanied by a collapse of ecosystem functioning and associated ecosystem services, has been emphasized by ecologists since the 1980’s. However, as pointed out by Ripple et al. (2017), among others, environmental policies barely follow the advices voiced by ecologists. In this talk, my aim is to explore the reasons for this failure of ecological science to inform environmental policies. I will start by presenting a bestiary of what I call “pathologies” of environmental policies. I use this phrase to refer to concrete evidences of discrepancies between ecological science and environmental policies. I will then argue that the reason for the above failure is that ecologists fail to identify the complexity of the decision-support architectures (DAS) characterizing their interactions with decision-makers. To introduce the concept of DAS, I will take advantage of an analysis of the rationality of decision-aiding (DA) processes (Meinard & Tsoukias 2019), delineating four DA approaches: objectivist, conformist, adjustive and reflexive and arguing that decision analysts should choose their approach depending on which one of the following three constraints bind the DA process: governance structure, DA framing, and the importance granted to the initiative of the decision-maker. To refine and generalize this analysis, I propose a new tool, the DAS diagram, to be used to characterize DA interactions thanks to a representation of how binding the three constraints are. I will then explain how ecologists can use this representation to better understand the nature of their interactions with decision-makers, and thereby adapt their strategy to enhance their impact on these policies, using the example of a new approach to wetland prioritization in Bourgogne Franche Comté.


Recent papers:
Choulak, M., Marage, D., Gisbert, M., Paris, M., Meinard, Y. 2019. A meta-decision-analysis approach to structure operational and legitimate environmental policies - With an application to wetland prioritization. Science of the Total Environment 655: 384-394.
Meinard, Y., Tsoukias, A. 2019. On the rationality of decision aiding processes. European Journal of Operational Research 273: 1074-1084.

(Seminar in English)
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