Deconstructing a complex future: Scenario development and implications for the forest-based sector


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This paper set out to review future-oriented projects to determine how the use of scenarios may affect EU forest-related policy. The work was carried out as a desktop study, utilising online search engines and databases to select appropriate future-oriented projects for analysis. The screening resulted in 36 case studies, most of which focused on scenarios for the environment, biodiversity and climate change but also covering territorial development, urban development, energy and transport. Only 2 case studies focused exclusively on forests. Most scenarios were developed to provide policy recommendations, they have as such, irrespective of the approaches and storylines used, in many cases influenced policy developments in Europe. The clearest example being that of climate and energy policy targets. The results demonstrate that most scenario frameworks are still not generating integrative visions of the environment that include forests in its entirety, reflecting sectoral fragmentation at the EU level. Forest-related scenarios will have to become more integrative to explore opportunities for policy actions aiming for a more sustainable future. This would require that future scenarios coherently assess impacts across sectors and adequately address the wide (and increasing) range of demands being placed on our forest resources.

Full reference

Filip Aggestam, Bernhard Wolfslehner, Deconstructing a complex future: Scenario development and implications for the forest-based sector, Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 94, September 2018, Pages 21-26, ISSN 1389-9341, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2018.06.004.