Objectives and relevance
The overall objective of the Sediment and Society research project is to recommend an integrated management strategy for stakeholder involvement that can be implemented within the existing national management framework for contaminated marine sediments.
As specified in the latest call for proposals for "Oceans and the Coastal Area" research programme under the topic "Management and Conflict resolution" and the sub-topic "Conflicts of Interests", utilisation of marine resources are often characterised by conflicting interests which are apparent from the economic consequences and the distribution of equity or value which results when selecting a management model. The latest call specifies a need to conduct research which can suggest how conflicting interests can be managed in the best manner possible.
Thus the primary objective of the project is to recognize the conflicting interests which exist in the management of contaminated marine sediments and develop a collaborative approach which incorporates local and scientific knowledge in order to reach mutual gains. In order to carry out the primary objective, the following sub-objectives will be addressed:
- Assess stakeholder perceptions and interests with regard to sediment issues using Oslo Harbour as a relevant past and current case and evaluate their causes and characteristics.
- Establish Bergen Harbour as a relevant future case for sediment remediation and identify relevant stakeholders, their perceptions, and interests.
- Evaluate existing methods for a collaborative approach and based on the lessons learned develop a workshop series which will be conducted to discuss the different interests of the stakeholders in Bergen and which will incorporate local and scientific knowledge.
- Recommend an integrated management strategy to prevent or reduce conflict potential that can be implemented within the existing national management framework for contaminated marine sediments.
Project organisation and Collaboration
The proposed research addresses the call for greater integration between national and international research institutions.
The institutes involved (NIVA, NGI, and TNO) cover a range of expertise including sediment risk assessment, contaminant fate modelling, remediation engineering, environmental monitoring, institutional and environmental economics, as well as political and communication sciences. The international partner in the project, TNO, will particularly strengthen the proposed project with their background in the social sciences and communication specifically addressing sediment related issues.
Additionally, two MSc-students will be engaged by the project. NGI and NIVA have more than a decade's experience in national sediment remediation planning, monitoring and policy analysis, as well as involvement in the Oslo Port case which will be integral in WP1. However, NGI and NIVAs active "expert" role in the Oslo Harbour remediation project may bias information collected from stakeholders sceptical to the project.
Thus TNO will be mainly responsible for WP1 and provide guidance to the MSc students who will have a central role with data collection in Oslo. WP2 is dependent on data collection with stakeholders in Bergen and thus will be the main responsibility of NIVA, with assistance from TNO and the MSc students involved. NGI will be responsible for coordinating the workshops in WP3 with assistance from all research partners. NIVA will also be mainly responsible for the iterative evaluation of the framework and toolbox produced, with assistance from all research partners.
Project activity schedule
Legend: R = reports, A = article, G = guidebook