By applying the three principles outlined in our approach (Ridge to Reef, Adaptation Pathways and Evidence-based and transparent decision-making), the program created an initial ‘learning loop’ amongst stakeholders in ENB and WNB. Decision-makers were brought together to plan, implement and reflect on large scale development proposals which could significantly influence progress towards the SDGs, both positively and negatively.
Program activities involved six sequential steps, which together formed the first learning loop:
Step 1: Understand the decision-making processes for major developments in the Seascape
Step 2: Identify and map what is valued in the Seascape, on land and sea, and by whom
Step 3: Develop decision-support tools that can assess the potential ‘footprint’ of development proposals, and also identify current and future pressures that will threaten values (e.g. climate change, population growth)
Step 4: Carry out pilot planning exercises with decision-makers to explore potential outcomes of development decisions for values, both positive and negative, and actions to achieve the SDGs
Step 5: Training for decision-makers to use the tools and information
Step 6: Evaluate the process, and feedback lessons learned to stakeholders on an ongoing basis to enable them to adjust and refine the next learning loop and actions.
The program’s six steps, which together formed the learning loop. The relative emphasis of each step in terms of tackling stakeholder politics, and enhancing networks and knowledge is also shown by the coloured circles (red, blue and orange).