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Feasibility of a participatory modelling process for pesticides risk assessment - PEPAM

Research project OA/27 (Research action OA)

Persons :

  • Dhr.  DEBONGNIE Philippe - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Vétérinaire et Agrochimique (CERVA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2004-31/12/2006
  • Dr.  PUSSEMIER Luc - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Vétérinaire et Agrochimique (CERVA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2004-31/12/2006
  • Dr.  VAN BOL Vincent - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Vétérinaire et Agrochimique (CERVA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2004-31/12/2006
  • Dr.  GOORDEN Lieve - Universiteit Antwerpen (UA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2004-31/12/2006
  • Prof.  MORMONT Marc - Université de Liège (ULG)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2004-31/12/2006
  • Dr. Ir.  PINEROS GARCET Juan - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Vétérinaire et Agrochimique (CERVA)
    Not-financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2004-31/12/2006

Description :


In order to support political decisions in the context of the Belgian Pesticides Reduction Plan, a Risk Indicator Set, named PRIBEL, is developed. PRIBEL is a successor of POCER and is composed of seven risk indicators. None of these models are developed in a participatory way.
In the field of pesticides risk, uncertainties are largely present and, hence, a lot of choices have to be made. These choices should be made in a participatory way, not only to ensure social acceptability of the risk but also to take various kinds of knowledge and points of view not considered in classical scientific risk assessments into account.
In this context, the objectives of the PEPAM-project are:

• to define a suitable participatory methodology to obtain a useful input from citizens into the modelling of pesticides risk assessment
• to test the methodology, and define its feasibility
• to initiate contacts with interested participants and potential organising institutions to perform a real scale participatory modelling exercise.

In the PEPAM project, the participatory exercise focuses, due to policy influences, on testing the risk indicator for bees.


Objectives of a real scale participatory exercise
A first result we can derive from the test we performed in this very short research project is a more precise formulation of the objective of a participatory exercise. Since we understand the PRIBEL indicator set as a social construction that takes place in a particular (policy) context with the help of particular actors, the main objective of a participatory exercise is to test the societal validity of this social construction. This societal validity can, however, not be tested, without testing at the same time the capacity of the participatory exercise itself.
In order to realize these testing objectives, we suggest that the real scale participatory exercise should consist of the following elements.

1. Explaining and learning how the indicator set functions technically
2. Deconstructing the indicator set
3. Estimating the impacts of the choices made within the indicator set
4. Evaluating the indicator set
5. Reconstructing the indicator set
Three types of workshops

We suggest that the core of a full scale research project consists of three types of workshops.
• The first workshop is with experts of the indicator set, the authorities who are going to use the indicator set and the social scientists of the research team.
• The second one is with stakeholders, experts and social scientists.
• The third one is with citizens, both citizens with direct and indirect concerns, experts and social scientists.


During a concluding meeting - with a representative of CERVA, the coordinator of the Pesticides Reduction Plan and his colleague, a representative of a bee-keeper organisation, a scientist with expertise regarding bees, a representative of the pesticides industry, and two representatives of an environmental organisation - the results of the research project were presented and the stakeholders’ suggestions for a future participatory modelling exercise were gathered.
As soon as an appropriate call for research proposals is published, the research consortium will submit a full scale research project.

Documentation :

Feasability of a participatory modeling process for pesticides risk assessment - PEPAM : final report  Pineros, Juan - Deblonde, Marian - Mélard, François ... et al  Brussels : Belgian science Policy, 2006 (SP1570)
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