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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 504651, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/504651
Research Article

Scenarios for Knowledge Integration: Exploring Ecotourism Futures in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

1CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences Division and Climate Adaptation Flagship, Private Mail Bag, Aitkenvale QLD 4814, Australia
2CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences Division and Climate Adaptation Flagship, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
3Asia-Pacific Field Division, Pacific Island Program, Conservation International, 211 Alotau, Papua New Guinea

Received 21 April 2010; Revised 16 August 2010; Accepted 5 October 2010

Academic Editor: Judith D. Lemus

Copyright © 2011 E. L. Bohensky et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Scenario planning, a method for structured thinking about the future, offers an important tool for integrating scientific and stakeholder knowledge at different scales to explore alternative natural resource management and policy options. However, actual examples of such integration are rare. A scenario planning exercise was conducted in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, to integrate knowledge among scientists, ecotourism experts, and ecotourism stakeholders to explore possible futures for Milne Bay's nascent ecotourism industry. Four scenarios focused on climate change and technology, highlighting the risks and opportunities associated with rapid information exchange, and options to develop alternative ecotourism activities despite climate change impacts on natural assets. Although ecosystem-based management strategies were not investigated in detail by participants, all scenarios recognized and identified important cross-scale partnerships required to achieve sustainable management of natural resources and to promote ecotourism. An evaluation of changes in perceptions at the beginning and end of the scenario exercise suggests that participants became more aware of social and ecosystem processes occurring at broad spatial and temporal scales.