Report on the IPBES workshop on modelling Nature Futures scenarios, January 2021

22-09-2021 | News item

In January 2021, the IPBES technical support unit (TSU) on Scenarios and Models, which is hosted by PBL, co-organized the workshop on modelling Nature Futures scenarios under the 2030 IPBES rolling work programme. During the workshop, feedback was given on the draft Nature Futures Framework, and recommendations were made on its operationalisation in modelling.

The IPBES TSU on scenarios and models supports the IPBES task force on scenarios and models, co-organised with the task force an online workshop on modelling Nature Futures scenarios from 12 to 15 January 2021. It was attended by 84 modelling and scenario experts.


The workshop was a part of a series of consultations, intended to collect feedback on the usability of the Nature Futures Framework (NFF) which was first developed with the former IPBES expert team Scenarios and Models during a workshop at PBL in 2018. During the workshop in January 2021, participants discussed the further methodological steps to enable modelling communities to simulate quantitative scenarios of nature, nature’s contributions to people, and good quality of life, using the NFF at different scales. Furthermore, they discussed future engagement of the modelling communities in the further development and application of the NFF to support IPBES assessments and policies on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Next steps

During the workshop, particular improvements needed for modelling methods to accommodate the concepts highlighted by the NFF were identified. Furthermore, various participants expressed interest in exploring the use of the NFF in potential case studies, which are currently being further developed. Examples of such case studies are: 1. The application of the NFF in Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) scenarios and impact modelling on sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework; and 2. The application of the NFF to consider sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) indicators to explore synergies and trade-offs amongst multiple goals/targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Another outcome of the workshop is gathering the modelling community interested in modelling the NFF and modelling for IPBES on Slack. The Slack environment can be joined by anyone who is interested and is not a formal IPBES community. There are general ‘channels’ as well as specific ‘channels’ for the different case studies. You can join here or write to the TSU ( if you have further questions.

For further details on the outcomes of the workshop, please download the official workshop report on the IPBES website.