Comprehensive Case Analysis on Participatory Approaches, from Nexus Perspectives

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 10:50 AM
Naoki Masuhara and Kenshi Baba, RIHN Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
According to Messages from the Bonn2011 Conference, involving local communities fully and effectively in the planning and implementation processes related to water, energy and food nexus for local ownership and commitment should be strongly needed. The participatory approaches such as deliberative polling, “joint fact-finding” and so on have been applied so far to resolve various environmental disputes, however the drivers and barriers in such processes have not been necessarily enough analyzed in a comprehensive manner, especially in Japan.

Our research aims to explore solutions for conflicts in the context of water-energy-food nexus in local communities. To achieve it, we clarify drivers and barriers of each approaches applied so far in water, energy and food policy, focusing on how to deal with scientific facts.

We generate hypotheses primarily that multi-issue solutions through policy integration will be more effective for conflicts in the context of water-energy-food nexus than single issue solutions for each policy. One of the key factors to formulate effective solutions is to integrate “scientific fact (expert knowledge)” and “local knowledge”. Given this primary hypothesis, more specifically, we assume that it is effective for building consensus to provide opportunities to resolve the disagreement of “framing” that stakeholders can offer experts the points for providing scientific facts and that experts can get common understanding of scientific facts in the early stage of the process.

To verify the hypotheses, we develop a database of the cases which such participatory approaches have been applied so far to resolve various environmental disputes based on literature survey of journal articles and public documents of Japanese cases.

At present, our database is constructing. But it's estimated that conditions of framing and providing scientific information are important driving factors for problem solving and consensus building. And it's important to refine the driving factors, evaluating if components of database are enough to present each process or not.