Future scenarios

Scenario development can help actors in a landscape understand the likely future outcomes of continuing ‘business-as-usual’. They can co-create possible future scenarios, with specific spatial assumptions, and more realistically consider the opportunities, barriers, tradeoffs and synergies of alternative pathways.

LPs that have the necessary resources can go further, with more formal, scenario modelling. This involves a more rigorous comparison of the possible outcomes of different scenarios using quantitative, data-based models. These models require clearly defined assumptions, for example, about economic and population trends, market demand, productivity of farm production, or the application of regulatory measures. The process requires the assistance of modelling specialists who are experienced in, and committed to, participatory modelling and sharing results with non-specialists.

The results of both (scenario development and scenario modelling) can be portrayed by comparing them through side-by-side comparisons of maps, tables or sketches, for stakeholder discussion.