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4.2.5 PHASE 5: Using scenarios to create discussion on management options

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How to combine scenarios and ecosystem services assessment (ESA)?

The interaction between ecosystem service assessment and scenarios depends very much on your objective and the methods you will use to conduct the ecosystem service assessment.

Scenarios and ecosystem service assessment are closely linked and can feed and influence each other. Ecosystem service assessment can be used at the preparatory phase to assess the situation in the case study site and then be used to compare possible future scenarios by providing information to feed/illustrate these.

For example, each scenario can include elements of ecosystem service assessment on different aspects of the problem from one scenario to another. Alternatively ecosystem service assessment can be undertaken on the different scenarios generated by stakeholders, if we consider that the different scenarios are management options that need to be evaluated and compared in order to make a management decision.

How can scenarios be used for management?

Scenarios can be the mechanism to engage stakeholders by creating an informed debate on a management question and raising awareness amongst local politicians, with ecosystem service assessment feeding these discussions.

In the case of exploratory scenarios, stakeholders can explore possible futures and their consequences can be evaluated and compared and help to shape discussions about management options and trade-offs.

A preferred scenario chosen with the stakeholders is a basis to construct a common coastal and marine vision or action plan.

The scenario outputs can also input into, or influence, a range of existing policy frameworks and associated plans and strategies.

This depends on the legitimacy and management role of the case study site team, the participants involved, and also of the governance context that needs to be understood to make the best choices and management decisions.

For normative scenarios, the objective is different; the result should be a preferred scenario with concrete proposals to reach the desired future. The process can be used to devise plans or determine the concrete actions necessary to reach a desired management future sought by stakeholders with immediate or short-term implementation.


Tools that can be used to reach the objectives of this phase:

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