Mapping research gaps for sustainable forest management based on the nominal group technique

J.J.A. Hugé, Behara Satyanarayana, Nibedita Mukherjee, Viviana Otero, Katherine Vande Velde, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Managing a complex social-ecological system requires data about the many social and
ecological variables characterizing it and about their interactions. While the selection of
research topics has its own, mostly unpredictable dynamics and contingencies, there has
been a recent surge of interest regarding the involvement of non-academic stakeholders in
suggesting research topics and identifying perceived knowledge gaps regarding the management of complex social-ecological systems. Decision-makers will invariably be confronted with limitations regarding resources to be allocated to the study of various systems
components, and regarding the processing capacity of scientists and other stakeholders
alike. Matang forest is one of the longest-managed mangroves in the world and provides a
widely cited example of silvicultural management for charcoal and pole production, while
providing a range of other ecosystem services. We applied the nominal group technique
(NGT) to identify research priorities for Matang, as it provides a systematic and participatory approach to identify collective priorities while also reducing bias. The method consists
of two rounds, during which participants were asked to refect frst individually, and then
collectively, about key characteristics of mangrove management and about research priorities in Matang. The results were compared to the recommendations of the scientifc literature. NGT provides a rapid, robust and systematic approach to identify research priorities
for mangrove management and can hence be a timely method to support decision-makers
across South-East Asia in guiding resource allocation toward research needs in times of
increasing mangrove degradation. This is the frst time that the application of NGT has
been documented in a mangrove context. Moreover, NGT is not yet being used frequently
in natural resources management, hence in documenting our NGT application, we aim to
contribute to the development of a the NGT body of knowledge beyond mere mangrove
forest settings. Rapid methods (such as NGT) to identify pressing research priorities are
needed to guide resource allocation and investment of time and scientifc capacity based on
a systematic and pluralistic assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Early online date24 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • CONSERVATION
  • ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
  • FOCUS GROUP
  • KNOWLEDGE GAPS
  • MARINE
  • MATANG MANGROVE FOREST
  • METHODOLOGY
  • Malaysia
  • Mangrove management
  • Matang
  • NGT
  • Nominal group technique
  • REDD PLUS
  • RESEARCH PRIORITIES
  • Research needs
  • Research priorities
  • STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS
  • Stakeholders

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