Serrao-Neumann, S., Schuch, G., Cox, M., & Choy, D. L. (2019). Scenario planning for climate change adaptation for natural resource management: Insights from the Australian East Coast Cluster. Ecosystem Services, 38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100967
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13884
Natural resources and inherent ecosystem services have long been under pressure from unsustainable exploitation further exacerbated by climate change impacts. Managing natural resources in the Australian context is also a complex task because it involves a raft of stakeholders subjected to ongoing institutional changes and reductions in funding for programme implementation. This paper explores the use of scenario planning as a suitable tool to deal with the uncertainty and complexity inherent to natural resource management. Specifically, it reports on the development and application of explorative scenarios (multiple plausible futures) involving six natural resource management organisations and their communities of practice operating along the East Coast of Australia. Scenarios were developed based on two key drivers of change, namely: maturing approach to natural resource management; and community driven climate change action, to test the robustness and flexibility of a suite of existing strategies, policies and targets. Findings indicate that explorative scenarios were useful in the identification of strategies that may result in perverse or negative impacts under different futures; guide selection of different approaches in response to unexpected events; encourage a forward-looking approach rather than relying on past experiences only; create flexible, robust strategies that are better able to deal with shocks and surprises; provide participating policy owners with an opportunity to consider future contexts for their policies to play out in; and, ascertain a range of possible pathways to achieve a vision or goals depending on changed circumstances.
© 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/