Towards Data Driven Environmental Policy Design

photo credit_ Deanna Rasmussen

In 2015 Horizon Digital Economy Research and the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham collaborated with the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife to support the Western Australian State Government Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in managing the allocation of environmental conservation resources and funds within priority areas of high conservation significance.

Major challenges included the identification of priority biological assets in the conservation areas and how to prioritise assets, taking into account limited resources and the large number of relevant parameters involved.

The EPSRC funded project ‘Towards Data Driven Environmental Policy Design’ involved the design and delivery of a methodology to support a DEC-developed framework. This required the capture and aggregation of multiple heterogeneous data sources and any associated uncertainty in a real work environmental conservation context, to aid future policy, planning and management.

The Western Australian Government has now published the 20 years management plan for the Toolibin wetland ( Toolibin is Ramsar listed as one of about 2200 worldwide wetlands of international importance and contains the following acknowledgement to the project:

“We gratefully acknowledge the support and the research‐driven methodological innovation contributed by the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, led by Dr Christian Wagner and funded by the UK EPSRC (EP/K012479/1) and NERC (NE/M008401/1). The research conducted and its outputs have been instrumental in both informing key aspects of this management plan and advancing the methodological research underpinning it”