Societal evaluation of sustainability impact

This WP aims to develop and apply SIA methods for utilisation in public decision making and policy development at various governance levels. The studies will cover different land use sectors (agriculture and forestry) and multiple product value chains (bio-energy from agriculture and forestry, traditional forest-wood chains (FWCs), new product value chains). Focus will be laid on valuation of biomass production impacts in the light of grand societal challenges.
The work package comprises research in five ESR activities. They all have in common the ex-ante assessment of alternative scenarios of agricultural and forestry production chains with focus on bio-energy. Further communalities include a spatially explicit approach and the integrated consideration of the economic, environmental and social domains of sustainable development impacts. The application of those methods should enable decision and other stakeholders to anticipate and discuss the possible impacts of biomanagement options on key parameters of societal challenges and sustainable development. The tasks include methodological challenges related to modelling, indicator development, participatory methods, methods of biophyisical accounting at the system level (Material flow analysis, energy flow analysis). Spatially explicit multi-criteria decision methods will be developed to support unilateral as well as group decision making processes in SIA context. Experiences from the Finnish MESTA planning system2, the EFORWOOD multicriteria evaluation tool3, and from SENSOR and LUPIS assessment tools will be used and extended for improved SIA focusing on management of forest resources and FWCs. Particular emphasis will be placed on the spatially explicit elicitation of stakeholder preferences and options for preference aggregation in multistakeholder planning situations.
Since each of the WP partners is expert in a specific methodological approach (ZALF: participatory methods of impact assessment; EFI: modelling and indicator quantification; BOKU: MCA; Skogforsk: value chain optimization and indicator quantification; Uni-Klu: Material and Energy flow analysis, system approach) cross fertilisation of methods, synergies and complementarities will be sought for in each ESR activity.