Values and valuation workshop
Improving decisions at the food, water, energy and environment nexus: values and valuation
Our production of and decisions regarding food, water, energy and the natural environment are bound together in a nexus of interdependencies. This means that decisions regarding, say the use of land for food production, inevitably impact upon all other elements of this nexus.
The numerous trade-offs involved in both business and government decisions in this area are further complicated because the value of these various goods and services is only imperfectly reflected in market prices and those who benefit from change may be different from those who bear the associated costs.
The first Nexus Network workshop Improving decisions at the food, water, energy and environment nexus: values and valuation, led by Professor Ian Bateman from the University of East Anglia, was held on Friday 28 November 2014. The workshop brought together 50 people from government, the business sector and wider society together with researchers in this field to promote understanding and explore practical solutions to the challenges of decision making in this area.
You can download the full Report from28Nov2014_Nexus NetworkWorkshopValuesandValuation
The 50 workshop participants included policy representatives from Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Defra, DECC, Department of Health, Suffolk Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency; business people from Thames Water, Anglian Water, EDF Energy, Energy Technologies Institute; academics from a number of UK research institutions; research funders and practitioners from organisations including RSPB, Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust, London Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission. This balance of sectors enabled a good mix of views and ideas to inform the discussions.
Session A. Morning – the Challenges
The aim of the morning presentations was to give participants an overview of the challenges to decision-making in both business and policy; to show examples of how these organisations are using economic and other approaches in decision-making now and where there is a need for more evidence.
- Professor Ian Bateman from the University of East Anglia, welcomed people to the workshop and gave an ‘Introduction to bringing values and valuation into decision-making’. Download the pdf of his talk IanBateman_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014
- User needs for valuation, Dr Ulrike Hotopp, Chief Economist, Defra. Download the pdf of her talk UlrikeHotopp_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014
- The wider social science dimension, Dr Simon Maxwell, Defra Social Scientist. Download the pdf of his talk SimonMaxwell_NexusNetwork28Nov2014
- The Future Water Challenge, Jean Spencer, Director of Regulation, Anglian Water. JeanSpencer_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014
Session B: Afternoon – Response: Principles and Practice
The aim of the afternoon talks was to show some of the latest research areas across the Nexus space; the opportunities and limits of using economic approaches and ways to use
visualisation to engage with users.
- First up after lunch was Dr Rob Fish, from the University of Exeter, talking about ‘Economic valuation in context: Insights from an experiment in public dialogue’. Download the pdf of his talk RobFish_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014
- Professor Chris Starmer, University of Nottingham, spoke on ‘Imprecision and measurement of economic values’. Download the pdf of his talk ChrisStarmer_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014
- Professor Nick Hanley, University of St Andrews, talked about ‘Overcoming challenges in the design of Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes’. Download the pdf of his talk NickHanley_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014
- Professor Brett Day from the University of East Anglia, talked about ‘Using valuations of environmental change to target policy and explain its effects: The best use of UK agricultural land’. Download the pdf of his talk BrettDay_NexusNetworkWorkshop28Nov2014 Dr Amii Harwood from the University of East Anglia demonstrated a live fly-through using a visualisation tool to show where new woodland could be planted in Britain.
challenges to business and policy decision-making in the nexus area:
Participants in the workshop identified key challenges to business and policy decision-making in the nexus area:
- The challenge of working across disciplines and across sectors
The need for interdisciplinary thinking and expertise aligned with a desire to overcome siloed thinking by finding the commonalities which link different sections and interests.
- Innovation challenges
Focussing upon novel applications which encourage innovation and connections across disciplines.
- Nexus resource challenges
The nexus challenge is to resolve conflicts and exploit synergies in the interactions between food, energy and managing the environment for nature, conservation, access and aesthetics.
- Challenges of refining and using tools and methods
Method refinement needs improved science basis and to balance different conceptions of value, e.g. in valuing biodiversity. We also need improved techniques for robust measurement of valuations for non-market goods.
- Decision-making challenges
The need to clarify the objectives for decision making; improving and accessing monetary valuations; addressing the limits of valuation and tackling the fact that the Nexus issues of biodiversity, floods and water are a massive interaction of policies which need increased coordination.
- Governance challenges
How can we bring open policy/ valuation/ deliberative processes into new devolution/ localism debates and systems and see past short-term political cycles?
- Communication and engagement challenges
Making use of current research and knowledge and identifying where and what type of new knowledge is required.
- Behaviour change challenges
Clarifying actual versus presumed behaviour of stakeholders/ public and demonstrating the value of improved information about human preferences and how this might influence behaviour change.
- Impacts on society
What is the place of distributional concerns within environmental policy?
- Implementation and action challenges
How do we achieve actions now?
Participants then adopted 2 key challenges per table and identified the research needed to address these. The research questions are summarised in the report and a full list of all the challenges and research questions is available in the report appendix.
With many thanks to all the people who took part in the stimulating discussions on the day.
You can download all the information from the event in the virtual delegate pack:
- Workshop Agenda Agenda_NexusNetworkworkshop_28November2014
- Speaker biogs Speaker biogs_NexusNetworkworkshop_28Nov2014
- Delegate list Delegate list_Nexus Network_28Novworkshopv24Nov
download the full report of the ‘values and valuation’ workshop.
You can download the Report from28Nov2014_Nexus NetworkWorkshopValuesandValuation