How to model social-ecological systems? – A case study on the effects of a future offshore wind farm on the local society and ecosystem, and whether social compensation matters

Type Article
Date 2020-09
Language English
Author(s) Haraldsson Matilda1, 2, 3, 4, Raoux Aurore1, Riera Fabien5, Hay Julien6, Dambacher Jeffrey M.7, Niquil Nathalie1
Affiliation(s) 1 : CNRS, Research Unit BOREA (Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems), MNHN, CNRS 7208, IRD 207, Sorbonne Université, Université de Caen Normandie, Université des Antilles, EcoFunc, CS 14032, 14000, Caen, France
2 : MNHN, Research Unit BOREA (Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems), MNHN, CNRS 7208, IRD 207, Sorbonne Université, Université de Caen Normandie, Université des Antilles, 43 Rue Cuvier, CP26, 75005, Paris, France
3 : Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 461, SE-405 30, Göteborg, Sweden
4 : Sorbonne Université, Université Paris Est Créteil, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS, INRA, IRD, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences - Paris, IEES-Paris, 75005, Paris, France
5 : FAR View Conseil, LEMAR (UMR 6539), IUEM, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, 29280, Plouzané, France
6 : Univ Brest, Ifremer, CNRS, UMR 6308, AMURE, IUEM, 29280, Plouzane, France
7 : CSIRO, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000, Australia
Source Marine Policy (0308-597X) (Elsevier BV), 2020-09 , Vol. 119 , P. 104031 (13p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104031
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) Network, Renewable energy, Eastern English channel, Perception, Qualitative modeling, Acceptance
Abstract

Models of social-ecological systems (SES) are acknowledged as an important tool to understand human-nature relations. However, many SES models fail to integrate adequate information from both the human and ecological subsystems. With an example model of a future Offshore Wind Farm development and its effects on both the ecosystem and local human population, we illustrate a method facilitating a “balanced” SES model, in terms of including information from both subsystems. We use qualitative mathematical modeling, which allows to quickly analyze the structure and dynamics of a system without including quantitative data, and therefore to compare alternative system structures based on different understandings of how the system works. By including similar number of system variables in the two subsystems, we balanced the complexity between them. Our analyses show that this complexity is important in order to predict indirect and sometimes counterintuitive effects. We also highlight some conceptually important questions concerning social compensations during developmental projects in general, and wind farms in particular. Our results suggest that the more project holders get involved in various manner in the local socio-ecological system, the more society will benefit as a whole. Increased involvement through e.g. new projects or job-opportunities around the windfarm has the capacity to offset the negative effects of the windfarm on the local community. These benefits are enhanced when there is an overall acceptance and appropriation of the project. We suggest this method as a tool to support the decision-making process and to facilitate discussions between stakeholders, especially among local communities.

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Haraldsson Matilda, Raoux Aurore, Riera Fabien, Hay Julien, Dambacher Jeffrey M., Niquil Nathalie (2020). How to model social-ecological systems? – A case study on the effects of a future offshore wind farm on the local society and ecosystem, and whether social compensation matters. Marine Policy, 119, 104031 (13p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104031 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00631/74300/