The PEM provides a framework for the application of the valuable plurality of research methods and approaches. Mapping possible future means-consequences implies innovatively exploring terra incognita, as the original strength of researchers. For detecting non-trivial, quantitative and qualitative practical consequences, it Saquinavir is useful to apply a broad range of methods and to go beyond standard approaches in a creative and highly interdisciplinary manner. Already rough estimates and mere plausible assumptions can help to understand policy pathways better—as we can learn from Africa's cartography (Krugman, 1995)—though many gaps in knowledge and uncertainty will still block our view into the future. Sometimes, researchers can also substantially contribute to the environmental policy debate by creatively developing new ideas for future scenarios and specific policy options (or detours). Even new policy narratives may stem from scientific discourses (Hulme, 2009).
Mapping policy pathways in assessments is an iterative exercise that frequently requires adjustment if new forks in the road, alternative destinations, pitfalls and uncharted territories turn up. Due to the high uncertainties, long-term issues, such as global environmental change, require trial-and-error policy-making. Assessments can strongly support long-day plants through ex-post policy analyses. In the light of newly discovered practical consequences, objectives might be revised and means can be adjusted. Mistakes in policy-making can occur, and from them, society as a whole can learn for the future.