New EU-scale environmental scenarios until 2050 – Scenario process and initial scenario applications

24-08-2017 | Publication

As part of the Openness project, new EU scenarios focusing on natural capital and ecosystem services were developed. These were applied at different regional socio-environmental conditions. Stakeholders evaluated scenarios mostly positive regarding applicability and usefulness.

The scenario study presented in this paper was designed to contribute to the question of how natural capital and ecosystem services may evolve in Europe under different socio-environmental conditions. The study was conducted as part of OpenNESS, an EU FP7 research project. The article presents the iterative participatory scenario process, the storylines and drivers, examples for regional applications, as well as initial feedback from stakeholders.

In a participatory iterative approach four scenarios were developed for the period to 2050, involving regional and EU-level users and stakeholders. Subsequently, scenarios were successfully contextualised and applied in regional place-based studies under widely differing socio-environmental conditions. Regional teams used different approaches to adapt storylines and drivers to the regional contexts. In an internal evaluation process among regional stakeholders some participants expressed concerns about the scenario method. Suggestions are made how to overcome these limitations. However, most participants approved the scenario method, especially in terms of provoking discussions, and confirmed the usefulness and applicability of the approach.

Article can be downloaded from the publishers site (restricted access)