Scenario planning for environmental management

A scenarios is a story which describes potential future conditions and how they came about. Common scenario scopes include climate, socioeconomics, environment and water resources. Climate scenarios are based on climate projections and describes future climate. Socioeconomic scenarios characterize demographic driving forces, and the sensitivity, adaptability, and vulnerability of socioeconomic systems. Environmental scenarios describe future environmental factors and conditions that include threats to natural ecosystems and socio-ecological systems, and have consequences towards land-use. Technological scenarios shows technological changes that affect societal and environmental growth. A successful environmental scenario study usually combine elements of climate, socioeconomic, environmental, and technological scenarios because they are interrelated with potential feedbacks and can not be isolated.

When starting a environmental scenario planning, It is important to understand how pressures such as climate change can affect future natural systems and societies. Moreover, considering the relationships between environmental, economic and social issues is vital for environmental management in order to deal with any debates about future environmental issues such as land use, ecosystems management, agriculture, power generation, etc. A scenario is coherent, internally consistent, and plausible description of a possible future state including both social and natural aspects. The process should encourage consideration of the interactions between pressures or drivers form across levels.

Several studies have indicated that scenario panning is a practical, effective way to put environmental models to more beneficial use for long-term decision-making. However, scenarios always are uses in the business world. In addition, the lack of general guidance for environmental scenario panning has discouraged some environmental scientists and stakeholders form using scenarios to inform decision-making. In light of this, a lot of efforts still need to be done to promote this field.

Mahmoud, M., Liu, Y., Hartmann, H., Stewart, S., Wagener, T., Semmens, D., Stewart, R., Gupta, H., Dominguez, D., Dominguez, F. and Hulse, D., 2009. A formal framework for scenario development in support of environmental decision-making. Environmental Modelling & Software, 24(7), pp.798-808.

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