Identifying and building on synergies across international scenario communities: Examples from the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Organizer: Mark Rounsevell (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)



The climate change research community, within the broad context of the IPCC, has largely driven the development of environmental change scenarios over the past decades. As well as serving the needs of climate change impacts and adaptation assessments, these scenarios have underpinned assessments for other components of the environment, e.g. biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, water resources. The recently established Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has been assessing its needs for scenarios (and modelling). IPBES-relevant scenarios need to address questions that are pertinent in understanding biodiversity and ecosystem change, as well as encompassing a wider range of drivers that are currently not addressed in climate change scenarios, e.g. natural resource extraction, pollution, invasive alien species. It is now appropriate for the climate change, biodiversity and other environmental research communities to explore ways in which their different approaches can be complimentary in supporting the next generation of environmental scenarios. This dialogue should also draw on the experiences of other scenario frameworks, such as UNEP's Global Environment Outlook (GEO). Hence, the objective of this session is to explore current progress in developing IPBES and GEO scenarios, and how these developments might be used to inform future scenarios of relevance to climate change. The session is based on two invited speakers with slots available for others to contribute. The presentations will provide context for a discussion that seeks to identify progress in scenario development of mutual benefit to different research communities.

Chair: Mark Rounsevell, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany 
(co-chair of the IPBES regional assessment for Europe & Central Asia and Lead Author to the IPCC Special Report on Land) 
Invited speaker 1: Paula Harrison, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK 
(CLA for the ‘Scenarios’ chapter of the IPBES regional assessment for Europe & Central Asia) – The IPBES approach to scenario archetypes 
Invited speaker 2: Rob Alkemade, PBL – Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the Netherlands (IPBES Technical Support Unit on scenarios & models) – Progress on the IPBES scenarios on nature’s future