Tri-State Climate Change Workshop–Strategic Planning and Facilitation
CONCUR teamed with faculty from UNLV, UNR, and DRI to design and carry out a convening event: Change Science for Effective Resource Management and Public Policy in the Western United States: A workshop for scientists and decision makers.
The meeting, held on March 27-28, 2013, was capstone event of the 5-year Nevada EPSCoR project. The focus was on building a comprehensive program for studying climate change and its impact on people, water resources, and ecosystems of the Western United States. One important goal of the Nevada EPSCoR Climate Change Project was to enhance stakeholders’ ability to access, understand, and use new climate change information developed by the project.
Attendees included approximately 150 water resource managers, research scientists, graduate students, tribal representatives, policy makers, land managers and other stakeholders from Nevada, Idaho, and New Mexico. A major goal of the workshop was to bring these diverse stakeholders together to begin conversations and build collaborations to better address and adapt to climate change impacts in their fields, regions, constituencies, and research. The successful culmination of the Workshop was 17 “Statements of Intent to Collaborate” – among stakeholders, students and faculty. The final report from the Workshop can be found here: http://epscorspo.nevada.edu/nsf/2013-Tri-State/EPSCoR-WorkshopSummary-Report-05-13-FINAL-1.pdf
Our 2-day training course “Negotiating Effective Environmental Agreements” will meet Wednesday-Thursday, June 12-13 at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr campus in Berkeley, CA.
Negotiation is an increasingly important part of the day-to-day work of many professionals in the environment, energy, natural resource management, and land use planning fields. While you or your staff may have had some exposure to negotiation, CONCUR’s training can take what may have been informal experience and raise it to the next level of professional practice, enabling you to negotiate more powerful agreements. With collaborative leadership playing a greater role in public policy, this course is timely for a wide range of professionals working across the spectrum of environmental and natural resource issues in planning, policy development, or site-specific projects.
“Negotiating Effective Environmental Agreements” is an intensive two-day workshop designed to meet the needs of professionals who are in a position to negotiate environmental agreements. In Course One, we show you how a process of face-to-face negotiation can augment traditional policy making with creative agreements that are better informed and more stable. During the training, participants learn the elements of mutual gains bargaining, apply them in a series of simulated disputes, and reflect on the application of these tools to everyday work situations. Participants receive a certificate of completion.
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT INFORMATION: EARLY ENROLLMENT ENCOURAGED
To enroll in this course, please visit http://concurinc.com/courseone.html for more information and enrollment instructions.
The course tuition is $450 per individual until May 10, $650 afterward, and includes course materials, 2 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches, and one course dinner on Wednesday evening.
THE ENROLLMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 31st for all enrollments, so please enroll early!
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) recently published a Take Reduction Plan and implementing regulations to protect false killer whales in Hawaii. The Plan is based largely on recommendations developed by a CONCUR-facilitated False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team.
“The steps NOAA Fisheries is taking will help mitigate the impacts on these populations of false killer whales from accidental bycatch by longline fishing” said Sam Rauch, NOAA’s deputy assistant administrator for fisheries. “NOAA worked closely with fishermen and stakeholders to develop scientifically-based and common-sense solutions to reduce the unintended catch of these mammals. We look forward to continuing our conversations with fishermen and others on bycatch reduction efforts.”
Photo: NOAA Fisheries, permit SWFSC 14097
In 2010, CONCUR facilitated four meetings of a Take Reduction Team of government, fishing industry, conservation, and research stakeholders to develop recommendations to reduce false killer whale interactions in Hawaii’s commercial longline fisheries. Through these CONCUR-facilitated negotiations, the Team reached unanimous consensus on a suite of measures and met the statutory deadline for their development.
After careful consideration of the team’s recommendations, NOAA Fisheries published a proposed Take Reduction Plan in 2011. NOAA Fisheries subsequently revised several aspects of the plan in response to public comments and additional analyses, including those developed during a fifth CONCUR-facilitated Team meeting in July 2011. The final plan, published November 29, 2012, requires the use of specific fishing hooks and line, implements closed fishing areas, and requires fishermen to receive training and certification in ways to release false killer whales that are incidentally caught.
CONCUR facilitated a webinar on December 7, 2012 in which the agency walked through the elements of the final rule. The Team’s deliberation was noteworthy in that the team members (both conservation and fishing interests) complimented the agency for developing a rule that matches the spirit of the Team’s consensus recommendations. In an interview with Associated Press, Sean Martin, president of the Hawaii Longline Association, said the industry expected the rules because it helped develop them.
“We’re certainly wanting to reduce our impacts on false killer whales, and hopefully the new regulations will be considered by other countries as well,” he said.
Regulations, other than gear requirements, go into effect on December 31, 2012, with gear requirements going into effect on Feb. 27, 2013. CONCUR will continue to facilitate the Take Reduction Team’s deliberations to find ways to further reduce bycatch without unduly hampering fishing activities, and to develop and refine the Monitoring Strategy for the Plan.
For more information about the Take Reduction Plan, see http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/trt/falsekillerwhale.htm
The field of Coastal Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) has gained increased attention, and CONCUR is active in this work, drawing from its long experience in coastal management and marine policy. In September and October, CONCUR Principal Scott McCreary served as a commentator and advisor on CMSP efforts in Oregon and Japan.
Wave Energy In Oregon
Scott served as a panelist at the Ocean Renewable Energy Conference VII presented by Oregon Wave Energy Trust (convened on September 26-27), which supports responsible development of wave energy in Oregon through an inclusive, collaborative model.
Attendees included 150 professionals active in planning or implementation of wave energy projects in Oregon and internationally, including state leaders who reinforced the political will to accommodate ocean energy in the state’s Territorial Sea Plan. Scott teamed with Moderator Ian Boisvert, owner of BlueSky Mediation & Law, who convened the panel “The Art of Negotiating with Ocean Stakeholders.” Scott presented a range of models of stakeholder engagement, drawn from work in California, Hawaii, and the Eastern Seaboard. He emphasized the value of a comprehensive stakeholder analysis, the wise investment of training negotiators, and creating efficient structures.
Joint Fact-Finding for CMSP in Japan
On October 11-12, Scott served as an advisor at an international workshop on Joint Fact-Finding Techniques in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Convened by Professor Masahiro Matsuura of Tokyo University and Professor Yoshitaka Ota of UBC, participants offered advice on an emerging case in Okayama Prefecture with experience drawn from Japan, California, New England, and British Columbia. Participants included fisheries managers, marine scientists, and experts in environmental policy, anthropology and conservation biology.
The larger (iJFF) project “Integrating Joint Fact-Finding Processes into Policy Making Processes,” in turn, is funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) – an analogue to the National Science Foundation. The project will initiate action research projects and seeks to work toward the institutionalization of JFF that would ground policy making in Japan in sound science.
Early conceptual sketch of CMSP planning options for Okayama Prefecture
CONCUR teamed with UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency to co-facilitate a Technology Roundtable to more fully explore the future of CPV.
The Technology Roundtable brought together key stakeholders from the private sector, academia, and government for a highly interactive, facilitated discussion on July 25 and 26, 2012. The 35 participants focused on topics such as required efficiencies, costs, and technological innovations for both cells and systems. This Technology Roundtable was co-hosted by the University of California Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency and the Center for Energy Efficient Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
Analysts forecast that concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) offers the potential to provide the lowest-cost solar energy in regions such as the U.S. Desert Southwest, where the solar resource is enough to satisfy the entire energy needs of the United States many times over. Compared to non-concentrator photovoltaics, CPV systems save money on the cost of the solar cells because only a small area is required. However, advances are still needed to make CPV the clear choice for power generation in such regions.
The Technology Roundtable’s ultimate goal was to identify the advances needed for CPV to supply 100 gigawatts of solar electricity in the United States by 2030.
Dick Swanson, Founder of SunPower, and a leading figure in the development of the field of solar photovoltaics, was Facilitator; CONCUR Principal Scott McCreary served as Co-Facilitator of the day-and-half long session. The Technology Roundtable was structured to include a mix of plenary discussion, breakout sessions, and a priority-setting exercise meant to catalyze future research and development. The workshop included a series of plenary presentations followed by a series of three breakout sessions structured by series of organizing questions.
The 35 roundtable participants included several pioneers in the field of solar photovoltaics as well as leaders of major firms and leading academics. Representatives from NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy were in attendance, including the Director of DOE’s SunShot Initiative. Other participants included representatives from Sandia National Laboratories, Semprius, Emcore, Spectrolab, SolFocus, Solar Junction, GreenVolts, Abengoa Solar, Soitec, the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium, Ioffe Institute, ISFOC, Fraunhofer CSE, Penn State, University of Arizona, MIT, Yale, Stanford, Ohio State, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and UCSB, among others.
Based on the results of organizing questions that structured three breakout sessions, the organizers generated a distilled list of 32 candidate recommendations, which were then ranked by workshop participants. Candidate recommendations were organized into three broad themes: cell improvements, system level improvements, and activities to support commercialization. The ranked list of recommendations in turn catalyzed a discussion about steps needed to create a roadmap to plan and mobilize supply 100 gigawatts of solar electricity in the United States by 2030.
A paper summarizing outcomes of the Technology Roundtable is being prepared by the roundtable Steering Committee, and will be posted on the UCSB IEE website (http://iee.ucsb.edu/) when finalized.
This was the fourth in a series of Technology Roundtables hosted by the Institute for Energy Efficiency. Technology Roundtables are small-group, facilitated workshops that bring together leading stakeholders from industry, government, and academia to accelerate the development of a target technology for energy efficiency or renewable energy. Discussions are highly interactive, focus on major technology roadblocks and potential solutions, and aim to inform and expedite research in the field.
Five years after a collaborative planning effort was launched with help from CONCUR, the Governor of the State of Washington, Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, and other political leaders joined on June 6 to break ground on the State Rte. 99 tunnel in downtown Seattle. The next milestone in the project is to create a pit to house the giant boring machine that will excavate the path for the 57-foot-wide, 1.7 mile long tunnel.
Photo by Benjamin Minnick [enlarge]
This 57.5-foot-diameter hoop was fabricated by WSDOT to show the size of the boring machine for the waterfront tunnel. – Seattle DJC
The $80 million drill will be 300 feet long and weigh 5,500 tons. Crews soon will start digging a pit from which the machine will work its way 1.7 miles from Pioneer Square to a north portal in South Lake Union. The machine is under construction now in Osaka, Japan, and will be delivered to Seattle in early 2013. The tunnel is scheduled to open in 2015.
The tunnel will improve safety and relieve congestion for hundreds of thousands of Seattle-area drivers. “This project will not only provide immediate benefits by creating jobs, but it will support economic growth for decades to come,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “Building this tunnel will ensure commuters continue to travel to and through Seattle safely, while putting our friends and neighbors to work,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “President Obama called on us to strengthen our infrastructure and create a foundation for economic growth, and that is what is happening today in Seattle.” Besides addressing the critical need for regional mobility and economic sustainability, the tunnel solution also has the significant benefit of reconnecting the surrounding community with the Seattle waterfront–much like the dismantling of the damaged Embarcadero freeway opened up San Francisco’s waterfront.
CONCUR worked on the project from 2007 to 2010, with its role focused on collaborative process design, strategic planning advice and stakeholder involvement. CONCUR was part of a team that helped build broad consensus for the deep-bore tunnel alternative that helped break a years-long impasse. Keys to the project included: (1) reframing the problem to focus on systems solutions, rather than just a short reach of highway; (2) creating a framework agreement for agencies to pool their problem-solving focus and increase decision making certainty; (3) structuring a dynamic alternatives analysis process that let stakeholders see evolving analysis; (4) reaffirming a solid decision by political leaders to support the bored tunnel solution; (5) creating strong incentives for joint commitments to timely implementation.
For other AWV replacement-related news, see the Washington State Department of Transportation website at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/viaduct/
CONCUR Principal Scott McCreary served on the Closing Plenary Panel of the Year 2012 (Seventh National) USIECR Conference on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution (ECCR), “Working Across Boundaries“, on May 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. Fellow panelists included David Batson of USEPA’s Office of Conflict Resolution and Prevention, Ona Ferguson of CBI, and Dick Lefever of Crossroads Leadership Institute. There were 35 concurrent sessions and 9 trainings, and over 290 people attended the conference.
Scott’s synthesis looked across the 11 panels in Track 2 “Collaborating at New and Larger Scales”. His summary comments, meant as a “bookend” to Frank Dukes’ opening remarks for the track, first highlighted the geographic scale, the range of parties, and the challenge of working across tangible and perceived boundaries. He then highlighted four main themes in his wrap-up that can provide some guideposts for future practice.
First, he suggested that practitioners and conveners reflect more critically on the clarity of objectives in the ECCR processes they manage. (Is the aim consensus, consent, or – as one panelist suggested – “do something constructive”?) Second, he suggested that practitioners be vigilant and ask probing questions about the extent to which the projects articulated a strong conceptual model of cause and effect and metrics for gauging success. In this context: a core question is: “What kinds of outcomes do we predict our interventions will produce?” A third theme is to seriously consider whether ECCR outcomes envision a robust adaptive management process as they reach their conclusion. That is, do the ECCR processes create a framework where hypotheses are stated, metrics are stated, monitoring is completed, and adjustments are made? This sequence of adaptive management is considered best practices in environmental planning world, but, he noted, there are few cases in practice at the landscape scale.
Scott concluded by highlighting the opportunity for the Institute to support the work of a “community of practice” around issues related to scientific analysis and ECR, particularly at the large landscape (and ocean space) scale.
CONCUR teamed with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southwest Regional Office and Southwest Fisheries Science Center to convene a two-day workshop on April 24-25, 2012, in Monterey, California to explore rights-based management (RBM) approaches for improving the management and operations of the U.S. West Coast coastal pelagic species fishery. The fishery targets Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel, and northern anchovy. This was a follow-on workshop to one convened on February 2-4, 2010 in San Francisco, California that looked primarily at international catch share programs.
The workshop objectives were to:
- Review industry’s key issues and objectives related to the future of the sardine fishery, both coastwide and regionally
- Identify how similar issues have been addressed through rights-based management approaches adopted elsewhere
- Consider the objectives and lessons learned from other experiences, and explore key elements of RBM programs
- Discuss industry’s perspectives on potential advantages and disadvantages to shifting to an RBM approach; consider what an RBM approach in the sardine fishery might look like
- Identify follow-on steps needed to further consider rights-based management or other approaches
The 40 participants included west coast sardine fishermen, processors, and tribal representatives from the three west coast states, as well as fishery managers from NMFS southwest region and headquarters and fisheries interests active in the New England Sectors, Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper, and Alaskan Sablefish and Halibut. Speakers and panelists discussed their evolving experience and attitudes toward catch share programs, emphasizing the critical importance of engaging the fishing community in program design. The workshop format included plenary discussions, panels, and breakout sessions. The workshop specifically examined questions related to regional interests and flexibility, economic efficiencies and effectiveness, and community considerations.
NMFS has posted the presentations from the workshop here: http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/sardine_wkshp/.
NMFS is preparing a presentation, including an overview of the workshop and key discussion points, to deliver to the Pacific Fishery Management Council at their June meeting in San Mateo, California.
A meeting Summary is in preparation, and will be posted by the agency before the November 2012 meeting.
CONCUR was jointly chosen by the United States Department of State and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans to examine recent performance of the International Pacific Halibut Commission relative to achievement of the goals set out in the body’s founding Treaty.
Authorized by the 1923 “Convention for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific Ocean including the Bering Sea,” the International Fisheries Commission (renamed the International Pacific Halibut Commission) is the world’s oldest regional fisheries management organization. The Commission conducts stock assessments and sets catch limits for the $600-million-dollar halibut fishery off the west coasts of Canada and the United States, including the southern and western coasts of Alaska, within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and internal waters (including Puget Sound). The Commission also considers other regulations for halibut fisheries in Convention waters, confirms budget allocations, discusses coordination with US and Canadian fishery management organizations, and addresses other conservation and management issues.
CONCUR’s review was based in part on a series of confidential one-on-one interviews with a representative set of more than 40 stakeholders – processors, fishermen (commercial, recreational and First Nations/Native Alaskan/tribal representatives), Commission members and staff, academics/scientists, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and others. CONCUR also observed and tracked the 2011 Interim and 2012 Annual meetings and conducted extensive document review.
CONCUR’s 73-page Final Report, laying out a series of findings and a dozen recommendations, was presented to Commissioners and about 50 stakeholders (via webinar) on April 30, 2012. The Report recommends actions to improve governance processes, strengthen the assessment methodology through systematic peer review, increase transparency, improve the stakeholder consultation process, increase the engagement of tribes and First Nations, and build on the strengths of the Commission to continue the sustainable management of the halibut resources. A public comment period opened with the rollout of the Report and will extend to June 30. Significant discussion of an implementation plan is expected to take place at the upcoming Interim and Annual Meetings in late 2012 and early 2013 respectively, as well as a Commission retreat in fall 2012.
CONCUR and CBI are pleased to announce the strengthening bond of our two organizations. Beginning in March 2012, CONCUR Principal Scott McCreary will team with CBI as a Strategic Partner. By formalizing our affiliation, CONCUR and CBI can provide comprehensive services across the nation and internationally, drawing on over 40 years of combined multi-party consensus building experience.
Bennett Brooks, based in New York City, will join CBI as a Senior Mediator and serve as a CONCUR Senior Affiliate.
CONCUR and CBI will partner on a number of marine resources projects, particularly those involving the work of National Marine Fisheries Service Take Reduction Teams. CONCUR and CBI will also jointly develop marine and coastal work, as well as collaborate on transportation, food systems, water resources, and climate adaptation projects.
“Our strong commitment to excellence in practice and to our non-partisan neutral role, and our expertise in the intersection of policy, science, and politics will only be enhanced by our increasing collaboration,” says CONCUR Principal Scott McCreary. “We are delighted to be able to engage Scott in our expanding portfolio of international development work,” says David Fairman, CBI Managing Director.
For further information, please contact: Scott McCreary, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Patrick Field, Managing Director at CBI, email@example.com.