Multi-entity Workshops for Abu Dhabi State of Environment Dashboards
Defining a holistic and comprehensive suite of environmental metrics that inform the main actors in Abu Dhabi on their specific roles and responsibilities toward world-leading environmental excellence.
Managing any environment requires a good and fit-for-purpose knowledge of the causes and consequences of change, of the time and place of human activities which have the potential to change the environment and of the management measures that are needed to control those activities and protect the environment. In essence, this is a cause-consequence-response sequence in which sustainable and successful environmental management needs to involve a partnership of all relevant stakeholders.
Global Information Solutions LLC (GPC) and International Estuarine & Coastal Specialists Ltd. (IECS) supported the Environment – Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) in conducting a series of 14 multi-stakeholder workshops and the subsequent information synthesis and analysis of the collected results. The objective of this exercise was to define a holistic and comprehensive suite of environmental metrics that inform the main actors in Abu Dhabi on their specific roles and responsibilities toward world-leading environmental excellence. The main actors have been regarded in the workshops as those creating or carrying out (or potentially so) the activities and pressures in the environment, those regulating these activities, those benefitting from the activities, those affected by the activities and lastly those influencing the management of the environment such as educators, politicians, policy implementer and researchers.
EAD has historically adopted the DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact, Response) cause-effect-response analysis framework for addressing these issues. This information has previously been communicated in a manually prepared, five-yearly State of Environment Report (SoER), the most recent being in 2017. EAD has committed to changing from this traditional approach to an enhanced DPSIR framework (eDPSIR, now referred to as the more widely used term DAPSI(W)R(M), pronounced dap-see-worm) that resolves deficiencies in the original approach. An ultimate aim of EAD was to use this framework to lead to an active, data based SoE dashboard including semi-automated assessment narrative workflows. The current project has helped to define those metrics and the associated processes and data that will be needed to accomplish this transition.
How GPC empowers the client
This effort is intended to contribute to the Government of Abu Dhabi objective to place the Emirate amongst the world’s highest performing jurisdictions using independently calculated global indices to determine its standing. Accomplishing this within the environmental sector requires coordinated engagement and contributions by all sectors: social; economic; industrial; civil society, and others who regulate, control, or influence those human activities that have an impact on the environment, either positively or negatively. This in turn requires that every sector be aware of their specific roles and responsibilities and the metrics they are required to play their part in improving environmental conditions in the Emirate as part of a coordinated and aligned, government-wide environmental management approach.
The Bottom Line
The outputs of all the workshops show that the environmental pressures and activities could be related to the state change on the natural system through the regulating ecosystem services and the impact on welfare through the ecosystem services regulating and provisioning the goods and benefits, the provisions, and providing the cultural benefits.
An aim of the workshops was to define all the elements of the DAPSI(W)R(M) framework and then link them in cause-consequence chains. This has been accomplished in large detail especially considering that the most appropriate means of achieving this was by using spreadsheets. The large number of participants was a great benefit in capturing the important information.
About our customer
EAD is the Middle East’s largest environmental regulator committed to protecting and enhancing air quality, groundwater and the biodiversity of Abu Dhabi’s desert and marine ecosystems.
Capturing the input and intelligence from the participating stakeholders via online workshops to complete the study, which was accomplished successfully.
Benefits or Results
It is apparent from the feedback that the workshops provided a valuable learning experience for all participants, not just early career workers, but also a team building and networking event for all involved in environmental use and management in the Emirate. This resulted in the introduction of the eDPSIR framework by EAD and the participating stakeholder entities as part of a continuous improvement process to improve the measurement of environmental metrics that are used in Abu Dhabi State of Environment dashboards.