Exploring the usefulness of scenario archetypes in science-policy processes: experience across IPBES assessments

Type Article
Date 2019-09
Language English
Author(s) Sitas Nadia1, 2, 3, Harmáčková Zuzana V.4, 5, Anticamara Jonathan A.6, Arneth Almut7, Badola Ruchi8, Biggs Reinette1, 4, Blanchard Ryan1, 3, 9, Brotons Lluis10, 11, 12, Cantele Matthew13, 14, Coetzer Kaera15, Dasgupta Rajarshi16, Den Belder Eefje17, Ghosh Sonali18, Guisan Antoine19, 20, Gundimeda Haripriya21, Hamann Meike22, Harrison Paula A.23, Hashimoto Shizuka24, Hauck Jennifer25, 26, Klatt Brian J.27, Kok Kasper28, Krug Rainer M.29, Niamir Aidin30, O'Farrell Patrick J.3, 31, Okayasu Sana32, Palomo Ignacio33, 34, Pereira Laura M.1, 35, Riordan Philip36, 37, Santos-Martín Fernando34, 38, Selomane Odirilwe1, 4, Shin Yunne-Jai39, 40, Valle Mireia33, 41
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2 : Department of Conservation Ecology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
3 : Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
4 : Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden
5 : Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Sweden
6 : UP Diliman Invertebrate Museum - Institute of Biology, National Science Complex, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
7 : KIT, Department of Atmospheric Environmental Research, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
8 : Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India
9 : Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
10 : CREAF, Barcelona, Spain
11 : InForest Jru (CTFC-CREAF), Solsona, Spain
12 : CSIC, Cerdanyola del Vallés, Spain
13 : International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
14 : School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
15 : Global Change Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
16 : Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan
17 : Agrosystems, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
18 : Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, India
19 : Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
20 : Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
21 : Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai, India
22 : Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
23 : Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Bailrigg, Lancaster, UK
24 : Department of Ecosystem Studies, The University of Tokyo, Japan
25 : CoKnow Consulting, Jesewitz, Germany
26 : Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
27 : Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
28 : Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
29 : University of Zurich, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, Zurich, Switzerland
30 : Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Institute, Germany
31 : Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
32 : PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Netherlands
33 : Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Leioa, Spain
34 : Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
35 : Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, UK
36 : Marwell Wildlife, UK
37 : University of Southampton, UK
38 : Departamento ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, Spain
39 : MARBEC, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), IFREMER, CNRS, Univ Montpellier, France
40 : University of Cape Town, Department of Biological Sciences, Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re), South Africa
41 : National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Source Ecology And Society (1708-3087) (Resilience Alliance, Inc.), 2019-09 , Vol. 24 , N. 3 , P. 35 (25p.)
DOI 10.5751/ES-11039-240335
WOS© Times Cited 22
Keyword(s) assessment, biodiversity, decision making, ecosystem services, futures, nature, regional, scenarios

Scenario analyses have been used in multiple science-policy assessments to better understand complex plausible futures. Scenario archetype approaches are based on the fact that many future scenarios have similar underlying storylines, assumptions, and trends in drivers of change, which allows for grouping of scenarios into typologies, or archetypes, facilitating comparisons between a large range of studies. The use of scenario archetypes in environmental assessments foregrounds important policy questions and can be used to codesign interventions tackling future sustainability issues. Recently, scenario archetypes were used in four regional assessments and one ongoing global assessment within the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The aim of these assessments was to provide decision makers with policy-relevant knowledge about the state of biodiversity, ecosystems, and the contributions they provide to people. This paper reflects on the usefulness of the scenario archetype approach within science-policy processes, drawing on the experience from the IPBES assessments. Using a thematic analysis of (a) survey data collected from experts involved in the archetype analyses across IPBES assessments, (b) notes from IPBES workshops, and (c) regional assessment chapter texts, we synthesize the benefits, challenges, and frontiers of applying the scenario archetype approach in a science-policy process. Scenario archetypes were perceived to allow syntheses of large amounts of information for scientific, practice-, and policy-related purposes, streamline key messages from multiple scenario studies, and facilitate communication of them to end users. In terms of challenges, they were perceived as subjective in their interpretation, oversimplifying information, having a limited applicability across scales, and concealing contextual information and novel narratives. Finally, our results highlight what methodologies, applications, and frontiers in archetype-based research should be explored in the future. These advances can assist the design of future large-scale sustainability-related assessment processes, aiming to better support decisions and interventions for equitable and sustainable futures.

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Sitas Nadia, Harmáčková Zuzana V., Anticamara Jonathan A., Arneth Almut, Badola Ruchi, Biggs Reinette, Blanchard Ryan, Brotons Lluis, Cantele Matthew, Coetzer Kaera, Dasgupta Rajarshi, Den Belder Eefje, Ghosh Sonali, Guisan Antoine, Gundimeda Haripriya, Hamann Meike, Harrison Paula A., Hashimoto Shizuka, Hauck Jennifer, Klatt Brian J., Kok Kasper, Krug Rainer M., Niamir Aidin, O'Farrell Patrick J., Okayasu Sana, Palomo Ignacio, Pereira Laura M., Riordan Philip, Santos-Martín Fernando, Selomane Odirilwe, Shin Yunne-Jai, Valle Mireia (2019). Exploring the usefulness of scenario archetypes in science-policy processes: experience across IPBES assessments. Ecology And Society, 24(3), 35 (25p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-11039-240335 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00516/62748/