Could gamification enhance biodiversity decision making tools?

Share via AddThis
Posted on June 21, 2013

couldgamific[1]

Decision making tools used for policy could benefit from adding features inspired from video games to entice more people to use them. But will they still be credible to policy makers?

Making decision that may affect the environment is not that simple. For example, if a EU policy maker believes that biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions. And then decide to convert all unused agricultural land into, say, willow-biomass plantations capable of generating energy to replace up to 20% of fossil fuels. Their plan may not be readily adopted, should biodiversity specialists points out that the semi-wild unusedfarmlands are a perfect habitat for butterflies.

The decision making tool developed by the Bioscore research project is designed to provide a perspective on the consequence of proposed policies on biodiversity. Created with EU funding, it is online since 2009 and answers the ‘What if?’ question: ‘What will happen to species X, if we install policy Y in region Z?’ A large database with the habitat preferences of more than a thousand European species, plants and animals, gives the answer in the form of data, graphics, and European maps.

But Bioscore is not perfect. Project coordinator Ben Delbeare, senior programme manager at the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) in Tilburg, the Netherlands, admits the test panel could include more precision, more species, and a more refined geographical grid. Project scientists hope that the tool will eventually help answer questions such as ‘If I put this new road near that little swamp, what will happen to this toad that only survives there?’ Until it is further refined, Delbeare and colleagues considered Bioscore as no more than “possibly useful.”

Read more at: Phys.org