GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROJECT: Publications

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Farrell, Alexander E., and Jill Jäger, eds. 2005. Assessments of Regional and Global Environmental Risks: Designing Processes for the Effective Use of Science in Decisionmaking. Washington, D.C.: RFF Press.

Contributors to this book: Noelle Eckley, Alex E. Farrell, Alastair Iles, Jill Jäger, Bernd Kasemir, Terry J. Keating, Mojdeh Keykhah, David Lund, Marybeth Long Martello, Clark Miller, Oladele Ogunseitan, Edward A. Parson, Tony Patt, Bernd Siebenhüner, Andrea Süess, and Stacy VanDeveer

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Abstract

"This book will be of great value to anyone interested in the role of science in international environmental policymaking. Large-scale environmental problems such as climate change and tropospheric ozone can only be tackled effectively when policies are based on a solid understanding of the underlying science. This book contains lessons from past assessments and useful advice for effective future assessments of environmental issues."—Leen Hordijk, Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

As environmental challenges grow larger in scale and implications, it is increasingly important to apply the best scientific knowledge in the decisionmaking process. Editors Farrell and Jäger present environmental assessments as the bridge between the expert knowledge of scientists, engineers, and economists on the one hand and decisionmakers on the other. When done well, assessments have a positive impact on public policy, the strategic decisions of private firms, and, ultimately, the quality of life for many people.

This book is the result of an international, interdisciplinary research project to analyze past environmental assessments and understand how their design influenced their effectiveness in bringing scientific evidence and insight into the decisionmaking process. The case studies feature a wide range of regional and global risks, including ozone depletion, transboundary air pollution, and climate change.

Assessments of Regional and Global Environmental Risks offers several important contributions. It provides a clear account of the choices faced in the design of environmental assessments and a clear description of the lessons learned from past assessments. It illustrates why assessments are social processes, not simply reports. And, while they identify no universal, one-size-fits-all design, the authors illustrate how to make environmental assessments effective by making them salient to those who might use them; credible in their scientific support; and legitimate, or fair in their design and execution.

 
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