Perspectives on the future of nature in Europe: storylines and visualisations

12-04-2017 | Publication

The occurrence of many species in the EU is expected to decline further, making it difficult to achieve the 2050 policy vision. The Nature Outlook study elaborates four perspectives on the future of nature, in search for new approaches to this persistent problem. This background report describes the methodology applied and elaborates storylines and visualisations, and suggests how perspectives could be used.

Storylines and visualisations support reflections on future nature policies

This report elaborates four components constructed from the results of stakeholder dialogues, a philosophers’ dialogue, literature review and visualisations:

  • The baseline provides information on past and current debate on nature protection in the EU, summarising these in distinct views and challenges.
  • The trend scenario explores socio-economic and physical trends for the period up to 2050 and their expected influence on policy challenges in the future.
  • The following four perspectives paint a picture of the future of nature: ‘Strengthening Cultural Identity’, ‘Allowing Nature to Find its Way’, ‘Going with the Economic Flow’, and ‘Working with Nature’. Each perspective departs from its own set of guiding values, resulting in a desirable future state of nature, and possible policy approaches towards realising that state.
  • Finally, policymakers and stakeholders may also derive certain messages from the perspectives.

Perspectives can help build joint visions

Deriving policy messages can be done in a series of informal dialogues preceding or parallel to formal decision-making. These dialogues can be organised at all levels, from the EU to the local level. When organising such dialogues arranging unexpected encounters between policymakers and stakeholders and creating shared understanding and building joint visions with the aid of the perspectives are important activities.