3 years ago

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

Understanding uncertainties and risks can be considered to be the main motivation behind environmental scenario studies to assess potential economic, environmental, social or technical developments and their expected consequences for society and environment. 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 on-going EU FP7 research project. We present 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.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S2212041617300232

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