Modelling the environmental concerns of constructing the Danube-Morava-Vardar-Thessaloniki Canal using General Morphological Analysis
The problem structuring method of General Morphological Analysis was used to explore the factors and uncertainties to be considered in the proposed building of a canal linking the Morava and Vardar Rivers, which in recent years has taken on greater importance given its possible link in China’s one belt initiative. Facilitated workshop sessions identified five main factors – investors, risks, the motivation to invest, type of investment and long-term benefits – and 19 conditional states resulting in 1440 unique scenarios. Using specialist software and input from subject matter specialists from the fields of geography, environment and security, 81 scenarios were isolated. Modelling indicated that over two-thirds of scenarios did not feature the impact on environmental damage such as raised pollution and effect on biodiversity. Interestingly, while financial institutions and the EU did feature because of reputational and ethical reasons, non-EU governments, construction firms and some regional governments did not. The implications of these findings warrant additional research but results of this study suggest that strengthening of governance would be required to mitigate impact on the local environment.
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