Waterworld and Co$ting Nature: Web-Based Policy Support Systems

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL20C (San Jose Convention Center)
Mark Mulligan,King's College, London, United Kingdom
We present two web-based policy support systems, WaterWorld and Co$ting Nature.  Both are targeted at mapping baseline ecosystem services and the impacts of scenarios for change (eg climate change) and land use or land-and-water management interventions.,  WaterWorld focuses on  hydrological ecosystem services whilst Co$ting Nature maps a range of ecosystem services including water, carbon, hazard mitigation and nature based tourism alongside a range of other conservation priority metrics.  Both systems map baseline services and provide tools for developing and applying scenarios for change and management and thus understanding their implications for the distribution of ecosystem services and their beneficiaries.

As policy support systems, these tools bring together a wealth of global datasets alongside process and phenomenological models in a simple, self-parameterizing and easy to use, but sophisticated,  web-based tool that allows initial application to map baseline ecosystem services and the implications of change anywhere in the world at 1 ha. resolution locally or 1 km. resolution nationally using  globally available data, but which also allow users to upload and use their own data to understand sensitivity to data quality and improve datasets where more detailed local data are available.

The talk examines the characteristics of policy-relevant models and the differences between models build for research and those designed for policy support.  We outline the characteristics of policy support systems and the role of web-based systems in bridging some of the barriers between complex science and its application in advising policy.  We indicate the key recent developments in policy support and the challenges for the future, drawing on case studies from the 800+ institutions that have applied WaterWorld or Costing Nature across hundreds of sites globally.