Embedding a Culture of Risk In Policy Making

Background Issues

It has been observed that:

  • POPs (and other hazardous substance) risks are being ignored, and/or continue to take a back seat to more traditional policy-concerns.
  • Concept of risk is not yet leading environmental policy, but is being squeezed into the policy-making process where space permits.

To tackle these observations, we need to embed a culture of risk in policy making.

A culture of risk suggests the need to make risk awareness part of the day-to-day framework of understanding and practice applied by policy makers.

Stumbling Blocks

To embed a culture of risk management in policy process, the following stumbling blocks should be addressed:

  • Pre-eminence of a policy-system based on enacting legislation and external directives (treaty)
  • Confinement of decision-making to science based modes of analysis
  • Lack of perceived relevance amongst policy makers of wider risk based approaches to environmental governance
  • Organizational reluctance to follow through on the potential implications and benefits of risk-based practices including broadening notions of expertise, engagement, and advice

Overcoming these stumbling blocks is by no means a straightforward task.

 

We need to embed a culture of risk in policy making
Source: Jack Lee
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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