In March, 2011, all SESAME PIs and select staff participated in a half day stakeholder workshop where InVEST model output was presented to initiate discussion about the ranking of individual ecosystem services. We also discussed the delineation of hotspots to inform future research, and stakeholders shared their knowledge about which factors have the greatest influence on land-use change. This may help us develop more reasonable future land use scenarios. Stakeholders also gave feedback as to which scales of analysis would be most useful to them.
Over the next two years, we will conduct a additional semi-structured focus groups in the study area with these stakeholders and others. This may help them with land use decisions, and also allow us to identify the role of science in environmental policy negotiations. The focus groups will use the compared outputs of the InVEST and site scale models to explore the factors that would translate model outputs into policy consensus using policy decision scenarios at multiple scales. The focus groups will explore whether multi-scale model outputs can speed consensus on a set of simplified policy scenarios presented to each group. We will also compare the focus group outputs to assess the consistency or conflicts with each group. The secondary goal of this task is to ensure immediate uptake of research outputs, stakeholder engagement, and create the connection to real policy decisions that help translate this project into relevant decisions elsewhere in the country.