State of the Art and Future Challenges for Integrated Environmental Assessment


  • Ferenc L. Toth International Atomic Energy Agency


integrated environmental assessment, modeling, participatory methods, climate change.


A concise review of the evolution of the integrated environmental assessment field is presented. The opening conference of the European Forum on Integrated Environmental Assessment in 1998 is taken as a reference point. A mixed record of notable accomplishments and modest progress is detected in surveying examples in four large areas of concern to the integrated assessment community: modeling, participatory techniques, mega-assessments involving hundreds of people for several years, and organizational and community issues. Plausible reasons for slow progress in participatory assessments are sketched and possible remedies are suggested. Examples of the challenges facing the integrated assessment community are elaborated in three areas: the identification of integrated assessment as a discipline and/or profession by clearly defined distinctive features, thematic issues to be resolved, and methodological improvements that are possible and needed.