The workshop ‘New Narratives for Nature: operationalizing the IPBES Nature Futures Scenarios’ was organised by the IPBES task force on scenarios and models and hosted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), with support from the research team on “Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services through an Integrated Social-Ecological Systems Approach (PANCES)” based at the University of Tokyo, the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), and the United Nations University, with generous financial support from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.
Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, most task force members participated through virtual means, with a subset of task force members meeting in person in Japan.
The aim of the workshop was to build on the Nature Futures Framework (NFF) and on the ‘nature futures’ participatory scenario-development work initiated by the IPBES expert group on scenarios and models in the first IPBES work programme. This workshop aims to further elaborate the pre-workshop scenario narratives and to enrich discussions on the NFF. The workshop also served to start working on a more detailed task force work plan.
These aims were achieved through:
• Task force sessions on the further formulation of the Nature Futures narratives.
• Task force sessions on the cross-comparison of draft narratives and the further elaboration of the historical-present narrative.
• Organisational sessions to begin the drafting of sub-deliverable-specific work plans.
• In parallel to the task force workshop, collaborative sessions between the task force and Japanese researchers took place to discuss the application of the Nature Futures Framework at the national scale, using existing national level scenarios from Japan.
• A public seminar, in Japan, for a wider audience introducing the scenarios and models task force’s work, the concept of the Nature Futures Framework, and fostered discussions on the concept of transformative change.
Summary of outputs of the workshop in Japan
• 6 NEW scenario narratives drafts – an evolution of the pre-workshop work using the narrative templates, into a more coherent set of narratives fitting their locations in the Nature Futures Framework, including some illustrative visualisations.
• A cross-comparison table – to identify the core similarities and differences across the 6 new narratives (including single narrative-between-narrative comparisons).
• A discussion on how to continue further development, requiring identifying pathways to complete the 6 new narratives.
• 1 historical-to-present narrative draft – also an evolution of work done prior to the workshop. The task force has yet to synthesize and shorten this draft, ensuring linkages with topics detailed in the 6 new narratives into a more digestible level.
• Elaboration of a follow-up plan for further development of the narratives, post-workshop, through a “buddy” system of in-depth online discussions per and between narratives.
• 1 Japan case study – on fitting national level scenarios into the Nature Futures Framework. A summary will be shared by the team who worked closely on this with the PANCES partners, which we expect will give interesting insights to the cross-scale application of the Nature Futures Framework.
• Detailed work plan implementation drafts (ongoing post workshop in sub-groups).