Report on the workshop 'Next Steps in Developing Nature Futures'

19-11-2018 | Publication

In June 2018, PBL hosted a workshop for the IPBES expert group on Scenarios and Models. An important outcome was an inclusive framework for understanding how people relate to and value nature, and for building diverse positive nature future scenarios at different scales.

‘Next steps in developing nature futures’ workshop at PBL in June 2018

The IPBES Technical Support Unit for Scenarios and Models (which is hosted by PBL) and the Expert Group Co-Chairs, organised and hosted a workshop for the IPBES Expert Group on Scenarios and Models on the ‘Next steps in developing nature futures’ in the Hague in June 2018. This workshop paved the way for further development of new, positive scenarios of nature, ‘nature futures’, which feed into the IPBES work.

Developing a framework to support scenario building

The workshop focused on the development of a framework for formulating scenarios based on the prior nature futures visioning process. Three underlying perspectives were identified on how people relate to nature:

  • nature for nature, in which nature is regarded as having value in and of itself without human intervention, and the preservation of nature’s functions is of primary importance;
  • nature for people, in which nature is primarily valued for the interest of people, and which could lead to an optimisation of multiple uses of nature; and
  • nature as culture, in which humans are perceived as an integral part of nature and its functions.

These constitute the corners of a continuum, or gradient, that is represented in a triangular nature futures framework, and which can be discussed across different scales and sectors. The framework embodies a wide range of views represented in the nature futures visions. Scenarios that correspond to the extreme corners of the triangle would need to be formulated to serve as reference points, but would not be the only possible manifestations of these three perspectives.

Towards developing nature futures scenarios

The next steps in the iterative participatory scenario development work of the IPBES Expert group on Scenarios and Models will focus on further unpacking the nature futures framework, developing detailed narrative storylines, identifying qualitative and quantitative indicators, and testing the scenarios through modelling at various scales. This process will continue to be facilitated and catalyzed by the PBL colleagues of the Technical Support Unit for this group.