TitleBiodiversity and ecosystem services require IPBES to take novel approach to scenarios
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKok, MTJ, Kok, K, Peterson, GD, Hill, R, Agard, J, Carpenter, SR
JournalSustainability Science
Pagination1 - 5
Date Published2016
ISBN Number1862-4057

What does the future hold for the world’s ecosystems and benefits that people obtain from them? While the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has identified the development of scenarios as a key to helping decision makers identify potential impacts of different policy options, it currently lacks a long-term scenario strategy. IPBES will decide how it will approach scenarios at its plenary meeting on 22–28 February 2016, in Kuala Lumpur. IPBES now needs to decide whether it should create new scenarios that better explore ecosystem services and biodiversity dynamics. For IPBES to capture the social-ecological dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystem services, it is essential to engage with the great diversity of local contexts, while also including the global tele-coupling among local places. We present and compare three alternative scenario strategies that IPBES could use and then suggest a bottom-up, cross-scale scenario strategy to improve the policy relevance of future IPBES assessments. We propose five concrete steps as part of an effective, long term scenario development process for IPBES in cooperation with the scientific community.

Short TitleSustainability Science