Position paper on utility of Bayesian Belief Networks for analysing cumulative effects

At the request of the Wadden Academy, ecologist Dr Eelke Folmer has written a position paper explaining how Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) can be utilised to analyse cumulative effects in the Wadden Sea.

[Translate to english:] Cover van het rapport van Eelke Folmer

BBNs are statistical graphical models that use data to explore how the mutual dependencies of various variables influence the probability distribution of a possible outcome..

To demonstrate the practical utility of this theoretical exercise, Folmer used the BBN model – one that explicitly takes both ecological risks and economic advantages into account – for a salt-mining case in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The Wadden Academy recently published a Position paper on this issue.

Op basis van zijn bevindingen met het zoutwinningsdossier concludeert Folmer dat de toepassing van het BBN-model, mits juist opgesteld en gekwantificeerd, een bruikbaar instrument is voor een betere inschatting van cumulatieve effecten in de Waddenzee. BBNs kunnen meer evenwichtige en integrale besluitvorming ondersteunen.

Based on his findings in the salt-mining case, Folmer concludes that the BBN framework is in fact useful for analysing cumulative effects in the Wadden Sea, provided it is properly structured and quantified. BBNs can support more rational, transdisciplinary decision-making.

Download the position paper: The utility of Bayesian Belief Networks fot analysis of cumulative effects in de Wadden Sea (pdf 1 Mb)