Defining reference points for the        Precautionary Approach:persistent attempts to neatly arrange the boundary between...
How has ICES operated in defining precautionary reference points?
Three conclusions1. Reference points are not science and were   never intended to be science2. Uncertainty was hidden inst...
The precautionary approach as a          political decisionRio declaration (1992)   (Principle 15) “lack of full scientifi...
Making the political decision more              operationalUN Straddling Fish Stock and Highly Migratory Fish Stocksagreem...
1997: EC asks ICES to investigate reference  points with 95, 90 and 80% risk levels
ICES assumed a probability level“The precautionary basis for advice given by ACFMwill be that, for a given stock, the prob...
2. Uncertainty was hidden instead of at the center
How could policy-makers could have  made a decision on risk-levels?
Presentation was not transparent“Fpa = Flim e-1.645 σwhere σ is a measure of uncertainty in the total Festimate, typically...
Table with reference points in 1998
A choice in risk-tolerance was neverpresented. Precaution was scientifized
3. Boundary between science and     policy remains contested
Original idea for boundary science-policy                            “but fisheries management                         age...
But science could not give the answers:ongoing struggles to refine reference points
Precautionary approach is really a boundaryconcept: different meaning to different groups
Boundary science-policy is dynamic  and needs awareness of roles
What have we learned?1. Precautionary approach reference points are   not science and were never intended to be   science2...
Yes, it is difficult to neatly arrange theboundary between science and policy
ICES and precautionary approach
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ICES and precautionary approach

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In this paper, the focus is on the process of boundary construction between science and policy in the domain of fisheries management. The implemention of the precautionary approach within the ICES advisory framework was initiated in the mid 1990s and resulted in a system of biological reference points that were intended to guide biological advice and fisheries management. This meant that the precautionary approach came to be a boundary ordering device between science and policy. The ICES interpretation of the precautionary approach meant the pre-existing advisory framework could be slightly amended to include the new “requirements”. The discussion about the so-called “limit reference points” and “precautionary reference points” clearly illustrates how these concepts where intended to divide responsibilities between science and policy. Nevertheless, the introduction of the precautionary approach resulted in a shift of policy responsibility into the scientific realm. The interests and positions of management authorities and stakeholders were often pre-judged in the process of defining precautionary reference points. The lack of transparency about the the scientific basis of precautionary reference points has contributed to a detoriation of credibility of scientific advice on fisheries management.

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  • Undercover.Writing a PhD on the role of Science in Policy making before I came to RIVO and ICES.Participant observation for 10 yearsMy new topic: ICES advisory science in relation to fisheries managementSpecific: MBAL, Precautionary approach, MSY and MSE. Social science perspective (boundarywork between science and policy). Hopefully finished: 2012.
  • and re-arranging the boundary between science and policy
  • Show the three main lessons with a social science perspective: (1) reference points are not science and were not intended to be science, (2) undertainty is hidden instead of at the center and (3) boundary between science and policy can not be neatly drawn
  • Biological reference points are not science and were never intended to be scienceRefer to FAO and UN.
  • Biological reference points are not science and were never intended to be scienceRefer to FAO and UN.
  • Sustainable, precaution, conservation,
  • Show the three main lessons with a social science perspective: (1) reference points are not science and were not intended to be science, (2) undertainty is hidden instead of at the center and (3) boundary between science and policy can not be neatly drawn
  • More to come in the paper.
  • ICES and precautionary approach

    1. 1. Defining reference points for the Precautionary Approach:persistent attempts to neatly arrange the boundary between science and policy Martin Pastoors
    2. 2. How has ICES operated in defining precautionary reference points?
    3. 3. Three conclusions1. Reference points are not science and were never intended to be science2. Uncertainty was hidden instead of at the center3. Boundary between science and policy remains contested
    4. 4. The precautionary approach as a political decisionRio declaration (1992) (Principle 15) “lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost- effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”
    5. 5. Making the political decision more operationalUN Straddling Fish Stock and Highly Migratory Fish Stocksagreement (1995) “Two types of precautionary reference points should be used: conservation, or limit, reference points and management, or target, reference points.”
    6. 6. 1997: EC asks ICES to investigate reference points with 95, 90 and 80% risk levels
    7. 7. ICES assumed a probability level“The precautionary basis for advice given by ACFMwill be that, for a given stock, the probability ofexceeding the limit should be no more than 5% inany given year.” Source: ICES PA Study Group, 1997
    8. 8. 2. Uncertainty was hidden instead of at the center
    9. 9. How could policy-makers could have made a decision on risk-levels?
    10. 10. Presentation was not transparent“Fpa = Flim e-1.645 σwhere σ is a measure of uncertainty in the total Festimate, typically taken as 0.2-0.3”. Source: ICES PA Study Group, 1998
    11. 11. Table with reference points in 1998
    12. 12. A choice in risk-tolerance was neverpresented. Precaution was scientifized
    13. 13. 3. Boundary between science and policy remains contested
    14. 14. Original idea for boundary science-policy “but fisheries management agencies should be involved in decisions on precautionary reference points” PolicyScience“It is in ACFM’smandate to makefinal decisions onlimit reference point”
    15. 15. But science could not give the answers:ongoing struggles to refine reference points
    16. 16. Precautionary approach is really a boundaryconcept: different meaning to different groups
    17. 17. Boundary science-policy is dynamic and needs awareness of roles
    18. 18. What have we learned?1. Precautionary approach reference points are not science and were never intended to be science2. Uncertainty was hidden instead of at the center3. Boundary between science and policy remains contested; needs awareness
    19. 19. Yes, it is difficult to neatly arrange theboundary between science and policy

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