Scenario Planning for Institutional Improvements to Support Citizen Action in Invasive Animal Management

A scenario planning process has been used to test a number of Future Options for institutional improvement to more effectively support (and reduce impediments to) citizen action in invasive animal management. These Future Options were derived from a two round Delphi survey, supplemented by a previous Scoping Study, and resulted in the identification of a composite set of nine “Future Options” for testing.

Scenario planning provides a systematic approach for testing future options for action
(eg plans, strategies and policies) in an uncertain environment under conditions of low controllability. It creates possible futures to inform present decision‐making.

Two sets of scenarios were developed by stakeholders in four state-based locations (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth) and included representatives from front-line workers on invasive species issues, non-government organisations, farmers, industry, and three levels of government. Scenario development considered existing and potential drivers of change that could influence the future.

The most significant key drivers of change across the case study areas were: political commitment; coordination and cooperation; community values and priorities; coordinated management; community influence; technological development; global markets; and government support. Common themes that cut across several key drivers relate to: coordination; community involvement; government commitment; and financial aspects.

Future Options tested included: 1. A stronger focus on private funding; 2. A more entrepreneurial strategy for public funding; 3. Integrated performance improvement reporting; 4. Agreed stewardship roles and accountability; 5. More efficient, effective and fair regulation; 6. Citizen-friendly systems; 7. Greater appreciation of citizen contribution; 8.  Landscape-scale integrated  (‘nil-tenure’) strategies; and 9.  More effective public communications.

Testing was in response to a draft Vision for future citizen action seeking to reduce harms caused by invasive animals whilst operating in a genuine “government-industry-community” partnership. In response to the draft Vision Statement, there was overall agreement that it would be highly desirable that future initiatives seeking to reduce harm caused by invasive animals should be characterised by: Invasive Animal management undertaken as a shared responsibility; feasible reforms; improved administrative arrangements; research and development focussed on capacity building and training; and facilitated citizen activity. There is a strong degree of correlation between the key elements of the Vision and these common themes and their common elements are all picked up in the nine Future Options.

Considering the challenges to invasive species harm control from the perspective of the scenarios, stakeholders assessed how well the selected Future Options for addressing these challenges stood up within the scenarios and the institutional issues that needed to be managed. They were also given the opportunity to propose institutional reforms and to consider the practical and political feasibility of these.

This scenario planning exercise demonstrated that it is feasible to achieve the Vision and that the Future Options, in combination, could make a major contribution to that achievement. However, there are caveats to many aspects of the nine Future Options and these have been discussed in the report.

Author Professor Darryl Low Choy, Dr. Silvia Serrao-Neumann, Gemma Schuch, Professor Paul Martin
Year 2017
ISBN/ISSN 978-1-925727-04-3
Documents Download the full report [1.6Mb PDF]