Integrating participatory scenarios into Rewilding strategies: A synthesis of nature futures under restoration narratives

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Laura C. Quintero-Uribe, Laetitia M. Navarro, Henrique Pereira, NĂ©stor Fernandez

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As we enter the UN decade on Restoration, different political agendas such as the EU’s 2030 Biodiversity strategy are placing rewilding at the center of strategies for upscaling ecosystems restoration. Despite the popularity of this approach, we still lack research on the possible trade-offs and benefits that rewilding could bring to society. A way to approach these gaps is through Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP), an essential tool for incorporating stakeholders into restoration initiatives. We present a synthesis study of how the future of nature in Europe has been envisioned in ecosystem restoration narratives, and what elements of rewilding are being included in PSP. We mapped the information into different Nature Contributions to People (NCPs) and indicators for measuring rewilding progress. Our results indicate that NCPs such as lifestyle, culture, and provision of food were key for multiple stakeholders when envisioning nature futures in restoration areas. Nonetheless, key categories related to rewilding such as the recovery of large-bodied species, the restoration of natural disturbance regimes and increasing connectivity of ecosystems were barely considered. We conclude that PSP in Europe has been successful at incorporating NCPs in scenario narratives but it has overlooked key aspects of rewilding and its benefits and tradeoffs. Finally, we identify which advances, such as spatial explicit data and scenario modeling, that are required in participatory scenario frameworks in order to consolidate rewilding as a pragmatic restoration solution in socio-ecological systems.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program