powerpoint for OPEN December meeting on Enviro

Report
Environmental Evaluation
December 4, 2013
Shawn Morford,
Rural Development Initiatives
Michael Coe,
Cedar Lake Research Group
Topics
1) The growing field of environmental and
conservation evaluation and introduction to EEN
2) Examples of environmental and conservation
evaluation projects & what is different from
other evaluation?
3) The 2013 Pacific Forum of the Environmental
Evaluation Network- what we learned
4) Discussion: Creating a community of
environmental evaluators in the Northwest
Introductions
Your name and affiliation
Your interest/connection with
Environmental Evaluation (why you
came). Are you currently doing any
work in Environmental Evaluation?
The Challenge:
Contested decision space
evaluation data is sparse
Many different approaches to research and evaluation
unique natural resource and environmental issues
“Understanding and improving effectiveness and efficiency in
the environmental sector”
“To improve the field of environmental evaluation through
more systematic and collective learning among both
evaluators and evaluation users.”
But wait a minute – what is “environmental evaluation?”
Outcomes that are primarily ecological:
Biodiversity
Health and functioning of specific ecosystems
Crosscutting issues: climate adaptation, habitat protection and restoration, invasive species,
ecosystem services, multiple use, mitigation banking
Outcomes that are primarily social:
Sustainable systems: food, energy, transportation, water, wastewater, buildings,
forest and fiber products, minerals, waste reduction/disposal
Education: formal, informal, social marketing, regulatory compliance
Public Health: Air, water, consumer protection, disaster preparedness
Crosscutting Issues: Climate change mitigation and adaptation, resource use efficiency, land
use, water use, toxic or degraded site restoration, policy, regulation
EEN Logic Model
What’s different about Environmental
Evaluation?
Unique methodological challenges
New Directions For Evaluation - Summer 2009:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Differences in time horizons
Disparities in scale
Data quality and credibility issues
Problem of research designs for
assessing attribution
Examples of environmental
evaluation questions
• The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - are voluntary, market-based conservation
program with water rights-holders resulting
in improved stream flows for fish?
The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative – are
program resulting in enhanced stewardship
attitudes and behavior among participating
students?
The Pulling Together Project –are
interventions developing organizational and
technical capacity, educating stakeholders
regarding invasive weed risks?
British Columbia Ministry of Forests wants to
assess the impacts of its Forest Practices
Code regulations on protecting 11 key
natural resources.
OTHERS?
2 Examples of Environmental
Evaluation Initiatives
Forest and Range Evaluation
Program in British Columbia
(FREP)
Columbia Basin Water Transactions
Project- National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation
Forest and Range Evaluation Program in
British Columbia (FREP)
Comprehensive government program for ongoing evaluation of The BC Forest and Range
Practices Act.
Evaluates effectiveness of forest and range
practices in conserving cultural heritage, soil,
fish, forage, recreation, visual quality, wildlife
etc.
Goal -- support the continuous improvement of
policy and management practices
Resource Stewardship Monitoring
Stand-level biodiversity monitoring
Landscape-level biodiversity monitoring
Water Quality
Visual quality sampling
Forest/range health
Wildlife habitat and occupancy e.g. for caribou
Some evaluation questions addressed
through FREP:
Are cultural heritage resources being protected and conserved for
First Nations cultural and traditional activities as a result of forest
practices?
Are forest road stream crossings or other forestry practices
maintaining connectivity of fish habitats?
Has there been an impact on worker safety caused by current forest
practices associated with road building practices, partial cutting
and/or wildlife tree retention?
What impacts are forest and range practices having on the quality
and quantity of forage?
FREP Cultural Heritage
Resource Process Evaluation
Project
Purpose: Assess the effectiveness of consultation
process with First Nations regarding protection of
Cultural Heritage Resources
Open ended semi-structured interviews
Some evaluation questions addressed
through FREP:
Are cultural heritage resources being protected
and conserved for First Nations cultural and
traditional activities as a result of forest practices?
Are forest road stream crossings or other forestry
practices maintaining connectivity of fish habitats?
Has there been an impact on worker safety caused
by current forest practices associated with road
building practices, partial cutting and/or wildlife
tree retention?
Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program
(National Fish and Wildlife Foundation)
Program evaluated:
Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP) – a partnership of the
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Ecological Outcome:
Increased water flow and restored fish habitat in the streams and rivers of the
Columbia Basin to support endangered fish and aquatic ecosystem functioning
Social Outcome (and means of addressing ecological outcomes):
Market-making: Availability, use, and sustainability of open market transactions
for acquiring in-stream water rights for conservation purposes.
2013 EEN Pacific Forum …
• September 22-24, 2013
• Menucha Retreat Center in the Columbia River Gorge
• Early morning natural history walks
• Mix of of keynote, plenary and breakout sessions
• Tools, practices, skills, methods, knowledge, and information that
increase our capacity to learn and collaborate on environmental evaluation
Participants
Foundation Representatives
Government agency folks
– local
- regional
- state
- federal
Non-Governmental Orgs
– international
- national
- regional
- local
University faculty
Environmental firms
Evaluators from academia and consulting firms
Some key messages …
Complexity
Social networking
Integration of environmental research and program evaluation
Measurement issues for key indicators such as biodiversity
Definition of the “field” of environmental evaluation
Repository of research and evaluation studies needed
Many different kinds of evaluation research – how to integrate,
use in
Structured evidence reviews
Equity
Discussion questions (at your table--) and
report out: (Shawn)
Is there a need to further develop a community of
practitioners in the PNW focused on environmental
evaluation?
What would define the community- what infrastructure
is needed?
See more at:
http://www.environmentalevaluators.net

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