Rolling Stewardship builds on the concept of “stewardship” by focusing on the links needed between generations to carry long-term stewardship forward. The current generation cannot determine the actions future generations will take, but it can ensure that the next generation is aware of residual contamination and is handed the proper tools to make sound and protective decisions (including passing updated information to the next further generation).
Rolling stewardship requires a framework for stewardship decisions that can be tailored over time, and empowers each generation with greater information on stewardship tools and practices. The rational behind this approach is that there are too many imponderables, in terms of planning for conditions many decades in the future, to make decisions today that will be effective many generations from now. Rolling stewardship allows greater flexibility, yet ensures there is an infrastructure in place to empower the next generation of decision-makers. This approach disarms the critic who harps on the infeasibility of perpetual guarantees. Instead, it focuses attention away from the imponderable future and onto practical issues that we can carry out today with some assurance of success. The test is, “Will the solution remain viable for a generation?” rather than, will it be viable for the next millennium and beyond.