Building scenarios for ecosystem services tools: Developing a methodology for efficient engagement with expert stakeholders
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The ecosystem services framework provides a holistic perspective for planning on local, national, and global scales. Often, scenarios are utilized to quantify and contrast the potential impacts of anthropocentric or climatic drivers of change on ecosystem services. One freely available modeling suite, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST), from the Natural Capital Project, aims to aid in decision making and planning processes by quantifying ecosystem services in spatially explicit context. Several of their modeling tools require land cover data layers, and the user can generate future land cover data layers through the scenario generator tool, released in 2014. The tool’s associated literature emphasizes the integration of stakeholders into the scenario generating process to help create plausible and relevant scenarios, often through workshops. Our study reviews the tool and presents an alternative methodology for engaging expert stakeholders in the scenario generation process through a less time intensive format than the recommended workshops—a detailed questionnaire. We find that there is a need for systematic decision making analysis of stakeholder input before scenarios can be created, and we used cumulative percent frequency analysis of questionnaire responses to dictate scenario generation transition tables, when appropriate. We conclude that using a questionnaire to elicit input from expert stakeholders to develop land cover scenarios may be a time and cost effective alternative that still provides realistic and usable inputs when compared to workshops.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Chelsea Berg, Shannon Rogers, Madeleine Mineau, Building scenarios for ecosystem services tools: Developing a methodology for efficient engagement with expert stakeholders, Futures, Volume 81, 2016, Pages 68-80, ISSN 0016-3287, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2015.10.014.
© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.