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Environmental Trends Analysis (ETA)

The term Environmental Trends Analysis (ETA) is extensively used, to a large extent within the broad field of environmental analysis, including environmental economics. The exact meaning is seldom spelt out, and is as a rule implied through reference to specific tools and methods used, and in the use of the term “analysis of environmental trends.” Supras understands ETA as the review and analysis of available sources of information and commonly used indicators of environmental and socio-economic changes, and the depiction of trends for selected environmental indicators.

Two key usages are in environmental valuation and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A particularly interesting use is for comparative purposes across, for example, ecosystems, political/economic systems, and regions. ETA is connected with systems modeling, and a key systems dynamic modeling tool is STELLA, a complementary approach to statistical analysis of traditional indicators that emphasizes causal relationships among variables, tracking the stocks of important variables and the flows among them (STELLA is particularly useful for developing future scenarios and bring out feedbacks and causal relationships). A key use of ETA is in connection with planning, and with prioritizing responses to deficiencies in a system.

More specifically, Supras is taking guidance from the work done on ETA in the USAID project FRAME. Lars T. Soeftestad is a member of the ETA Core Group. Supras’ special or primary interest in ETA is in how it can be utilized within Supras’ model of Social GIS.

Related pages: Social GIS, research | Social GIS, knowledge | GIS, knowledge

(Material to be added.)