Scenarios – They’re not just for high end decision making.

I slowly drifted into environmental management as a career.  I started in landscaping and quite a few years later ended up rehabilitating a 2000Ha sand and gravel quarry.  I didn’t have any formal qualifications in environmental management which is why when the project started to approach the end I started this course.  I have no ambitions to advance my career to a point where I am in a position to use scenarios to influence politicians or big businesses to change their policies, although the lecture did appear to be aimed at this.

For me, scenarios are a tool to be used to determine the best way to manage a site to get the best outcome.  To do this as per the lecture all I have to do is swap the word “policy” with “action”, “task”, “practice” or the like.  In slide 11 (Developing scenarios in policy context) three questions are asked to develop a scenario in regards to policy.  In order to convert this for my working life all I need to do is make minor changes in two of the questions.

  • Are there existing policies practices/actions/tasks you wish to explore as part of the scenario exercise?
  • Is there a preconceived end vision [goal], or at least some aspects of a vision, i.e., specific targets?
  • Are the effects of a policy the practices/actions/tasks of such magnitude that they would fundamentally alter the basic structure of the scenario?

Scenarios are used all the time to determine the best ways to conduct simple tasks such as controlling weeds through to the more complex, rehabilitate a 2000Ha hole in the ground by reinstating threatened ecological communities in such a way that it creates a stable and self-sustaining ecosystem which in turn is attractive to a wide range of native flora and fauna whilst also creating a range of recreational opportunities for the local community without impacting on any of the culturally significant features of the landscape.

Not all of us who complete this course will go on to be a major influence on politicians or big business but even so, scenarios are an important tool which should be used early in any project if you wish to have a successful outcome.

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