First Stakeholder Workshop at our study site Dümmer – “Creating a Vision of Lake Dümmer”

On November 28, 2019, 20 stakeholders from the Dümmer region came together South of lake Dümmer in Lower Saxony to participate in an afternoon workshop on future visions of the lake. On the side of the project team we were four people facilitating the workshop.

The participants had diverse backgrounds, coming from the tourism sector and the water management; representing municipalities, administrative districts, regional offices for nature conservation and regional development, and user groups; being nature conservation associations, the anglers association and the chamber of agriculture.

The workshop started with a short introduction of the research project’s aims and the workshop’s role in it. The moderator then gave an overview of the goals and reasons for the participatory modelling method of visioning.

The participants were asked to create their own vision of lake Dümmer in the year 2050, thus 30 years from now. They were grouped in heterogenous groups of four to five. To get a feel for the Dümmer in 2050, the facilitator read them a little story: LimnoScenES_2019_visioning exercise

The four groups were given an hour to develop their vision of lake Dümmer and the results were stunning and remarkably similar.

The “red” group’s vision

the “yellow” group’s vision

the “green” group’s vision

the “blue” group’s vision

The four visions all envisage:

  • lake and rivers are in good ecological condition
  • the natural systems function on their own, without manmade regulation
  • rivers and creeks in the catchment area are renaturalized
  • nature-compatible and sustainable approaches for the region’s different sectors, that is agriculture, paludiculture, protection of the water, protection from water, tourism and nature conservation, are in place
  • the use of the ecosystems’ resources is sustainable and sufficient
  • closed regional cycles regarding food production, nature conservation and tourism
  • the diverse interest groups work together at eye level
  • there is a strong social cohesion within the region
  • the region has innovative, enlarged, ecologically compatible mobility systems
  • buildings are adapted to the landscape

In the next workshop that will take place in May 2020, we will focus on the ways in which we can achieve this common vision, based on the current state of affairs.