Biosecurity Research Articles

A structured war-gaming framework for managing extreme risks

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Ecological Economics




Risk planning systems, Multi-criteria decision analysis, Public participation, Scenario analysis, Plant biosecurity, Game with a purpose


Agricultural Economics | Biosecurity


Extreme risks are challenging to learn from, prepare for and protect against, and they invite the development of new approaches to complement existing methods of risk management. We describe a systematic ex ante approach to support the strategic preparedness of risk management and apply it to a biosecurity case study. Our framework integrates a war-game model and a structured decision making approach. The model provides interactive maps that help stakeholders in visualizing the economic impacts of the extreme risk under different management scenarios, and it facilitates adaptive management by translating science-based results into stakeholder perspectives. The structured decision making approach not only offers an analytical structure to organize the multiple objectives of risk management, but also functions as a platform for group deliberation among alternative courses of management action with uncertain consequences. We found that this integration helped stakeholders develop a better understanding of the complexities and interconnectedness of the extreme risk management and reached a consensus regarding the most preferred management option.



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