In February 2020, the IPBES Task Force and Technical Support Unit on Scenarios and Models, which is hosted by PBL, organized the workshop ‘New Narratives for Nature: operationalizing the IPBES Nature Futures Scenarios’.
During the workshop, the draft Nature Futures scenarios have further been evolved into a more coherent set of 6 narratives fitting their locations in the Nature Futures Framework.
Elaborating the Nature Futures scenario narratives
This workshop takes a next step in the development of new, positive scenarios of nature, ‘nature futures’, as part of the IPBES work programme. The workshop focused on comparing and refining their draft nature future scenarios to better differentiate and characterise the visions covered in the Nature Futures Framework, and to describe different narrative themes consistently across the various narratives. The Nature Futures Framework was first developed in a workshop with the former IPBES expert team Scenarios and Models during a workshop at PBL in 2018 .
Due to the coronavirus outbreak in early 2019, not all Task Force members were able to participate in the workshop in person, organized in Hayama, Japan. As a result, the workshop took place with task force teams working in parallel both offline and online.
The outcomes of the workshop can be summarized as follows:
- The scenario narratives drafts have now moved into a more coherent set of 6 narratives fitting their locations in the Nature Futures Framework;
- A cross-comparison table was made to identify the core similarities and differences across the 6 new narratives of the NFF;
- The historical-to-present narrative was further refined, and it was decided that this narrative provides the foundation for developing the pathways to the visions, i.e. it connects the pathways to a common understanding of the present-day;
- Material from stakeholder and academic consultations after the 2017 Auckland workshop (Lundquist et al. (2017)) have also been used to do this.
In support of the follow-up work, a plan was proposed for further development of the narratives, through a “buddy” system of in-depth online discussions per and between narratives. In addition, exploratory discussions took place on the further development required to identify pathways to achieve the 6 new narratives in the future.
Other elements of the workshop
The workshop was also the first occasion for the task force members to consider a more detailed annual work plan for implementation, in line with the overall work plan and tasks identified in the previous task force meeting. This will be the basis for the Task Force’s activities in the coming year, following this workshop in Japan.
Also, a public seminar was held in Japan at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in the course of the workshop week to reach a wider audience. The program introduced the work of the IPBES Task Force on Scenarios and Models, the concept of the Nature Futures Framework, the work of the PANCES project, and fostered discussions on the concept of transformative change.
Case study: applying the Nature Futures Framework to Japanese national-level scenarios
Collaborative sessions of the task force and the Japanese research team on “Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services through an Integrated Social-Ecological Systems Approach (PANCES) were held to enrich discussions on the NFF through a national level experience on scenario development in Japan. These sessions allowed exchange between Japanese experts and the task force on the interpretation of the Nature Futures Framework from regional and local perspectives. More on the PANCES scenario work can be found here.