Deliverable 1.16

Abstract: Conceptual model of stakeholder views of measures and potential barriers to uptake to use in WP6

The EU Water Framework Directive and other policies have abdicated many measures to be undertaken to help protect and improve the quality and quantity of European waters. However, these measures are sometimes not implemented on the ground. Why do some ‘implementers’ decide to undertake measures and others not? What barriers prevent universal adoption of water management measures? It is important to understand this as in future pressures on the water environmental may worsen due to predicted environmental changes. Future measures cannot be advocated without a better understanding of responses to existing measures.

The report presents a conceptual model of issues or capacities whose presence or absence can act as barriers to adopting measures. This model is based initially on a review of current literature on pro-environmental behaviours and further developed following discussions about perceived barriers at two REFRESH workshops with those tasked with implementing measures in two contrasting catchments (Louros in Greece and the Dee in Scotland). The proceedings of these workshops comprise REFRESH Deliverables D1.14 (Dee) and D1.16 (Louros). By scoping local thinking about the applicability of measures in the face of future environmental change, we also explored if the mode holds for explaining future uptake and barriers to implementation.  The issues discussed in this work are relevant to shape the measures considered in the cost effectiveness work of WP6.

The structure of the final conceptual model reflects nine broad capacities. One of the most important issues, unsurprisingly, is finance: nearly all measures require resources, and any individual or enterprise must have sufficient accessible capital to support this. Many of the issues are interlinked in various ways. Prices, markets and incentives are part of the external context that affect capital but also affect other decisions that can influence the environment (for example, planting of different crops can alter pressures on surrounding water courses). Conversely, the sub-issue of the administrative and legal context can act against the adoption of measures when the setting is perceived as either weak (e.g. an absence of monitoring and auditing systems) or prohibitively complex. Time and labour are also two (closely related) key issues. When considering the situation of the actors environmental characteristics and setting as well as business characteristics can shape whether a measure is considered feasible and adopted. Social networks can influence adoption, for example observing or learning about an action undertaken by a trusted neighbour can influence likelihood of an individual deciding to carry out the same measure. Social networks help to provide learning experiences, which links to the requirement of skills and experience: knowledge is required not just of how to carry out practical actions but also the legal and bureaucratic context. The sub-issue of personal interest (in helping the environment) is likely to underlie an individual deciding to gain skills to allow them to adopt measures.       

The purpose of this deliverable is to provide a conceptual framework to inform stakeholder engagement in the REFRESH demonstration catchments so, although it is a public deliverable, its primary purpose is to support work undertaken within REFRESH. The reason a conceptual model was developed is that in every catchment there will be a) a mix of measures and b) a diverse mix of stakeholders required to adopt these measures. The model was ground tested in the Dee and Greek REFRESH workshops (Deliverables 1.14 and 1.15) and thus provides a framework for the local stakeholder engagement in the other catchments, although the model will have to be adapted according to local context. The conceptual model is intended to provide guidance to, and help shape the measures considered in, WP6.

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