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