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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Scenarios Network

Alternative title: Nettverk for biodiversitets- og øksystemtjenestscenarier (ScenNet)

Awarded: NOK 0.90 mill.

Humans affect biodiversity and ecosystems, for example through habitat changes, climate changes, pollution, and overexploitation. At the same time, biodiversity and ecosystems affect our economy and quality of life through ecosystem services. Recently, scenario-building has been used at various levels to predict what will happen with biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services, and how this in turn will influence the political processes and decisions that are made. Such scenarios are important tools for understanding how different measures should be taken to counteract the negative impacts of global change and for effective management of biodiversity and ecosystem services under such change. Scenario exploration also makes an important contribution to global programs such as Future Earth and the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The ScenNet project has been a network of scientists with knowledge and competence on a broad spectrum within the parameters explored in scenario-building , from biologists studying the effects of climate change, ecologists giving advice on a sustainable exploitation of biological resources, to sociologists studying the socio-economic effects of changes in biodiversity and ecosystems. The Norwegian ScenNet group has asked people from a wide aspect of people working with scenarios for biodiversity and ecosystem services in Norway what they see as the most important questions on the topic. The input we have received has been synthesized and the results of this work will be published in a scientific journal and an abstract of the results will also be published on scennet.uib.no. The project has also participated in conferences and workshops organized by the network. One of these workshops resulted in a publication on how to develop and use scenarios in restoration ecology.

The project involves researchers from a wide range of disciplines covering all aspects of scenarios including modeling of impacts of global change on biodiversity and ecosystem services, scenarios of socio-economic development that take into account biodiversity and ecosystem services, and feedbacks of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services on decision making. At the global level this project will support the newly initiated Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and reinforce the recently launched interdisciplinary global change program, Future Earth. Strong ties and coherence with these are ensured through significant participation of researchers involved in both IPBES and Future Earth. ScenNet project focuses on networking and capacity building in all eight countries participating in the Belmont Forum call for proposals. Networking and capacity building in ScenNet is based on i) international workshops, ii) development of national networks, iii) a large international conference on biodiversity and ecosystem scenarios to be held in 2016 and vi) a web-based networking tool. The project also builds on and brings added value to a number of other research programs and networks at national and international levels. Substantial participation by non-funding countries has been ensured by linking ScenNet to on-going international projects with similar objectives; for example, the EU-COST Action Harmbio project that focuses on harmonizing global biodiversity modeling and the Eur-oceans project that includes the harmonization of regional and global marine systems modeling.

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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling