The role of diverse values of nature in visioning and transforming towards just and sustainable futures


The chapter assesses the role of nature's diverse values in supporting social-ecological
transformations towards more just and sustainable futures. This is approached as a two-fold and mutually complementing task: a) assessing the diverse values that have been considered in developing and creating visions for, and scenarios of the future, particularly those relating to more just and sustainable futures; and b) assessing how interventions to incorporate more plural valuation into decisions can serve as leverage points for enabling and governing transformation towards just and sustainable futures.

There is a substantial and well-established body of specialised literature on visions and scenarios of socio-ecological futures. A systematic review methodology was employed to assess the role of values and the types of values contained within this body of work. The protocol for this review operationalises the key concepts of “values of nature”, “justice” and “sustainability” elaborated within the wider values assessment and in this chapter. This review of published science is complemented with reviews of grey literature and creative arts.

The specialised literature on transformations and transitions to sustainability is comparatively recent and is diverse in terms of its primary concepts and units of analysis. For this reason, a two-stage process of literature review was adopted involving a) expert review to identify and synthesise the main concepts and relationships found in expert selected literatures followed by b) a systematic
review using qualitative content analysis and c) a case study of how values are treated in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) interventions.

The decision-making typology and framework for the values assessment introduced in Chapter 1 is used as a basis for mapping governance forms and their associated characteristics (such as regime fit, scale and interplay, and the degree to which they - foster adaptiveness, knowledge co-production, and emergence of new actors) in the context of governing the uptake of diverse values of nature as part of a process of transformation towards just and sustainable futures.

These broader reviews and analyses are complemented by expert-led case studies exploring the role of values and valuation in four alternative pathways of transformation: green economy, degrowth, earth stewardship, and nature protection.


Theme affiliation: Stewardship & transformation
Link to centre authors: Harmáčková, Zuzana
Publication info: Martin, A., O'Farrell, P., Kumar, R., Eser, U., Faith, D.P., Gomez-Baggethun, E., Harmáčková, Z., Horcea-Milcu, A.I., Merçon, J., Quaas, M., Rode, J., Rozzi, R., Sitas, N., Yoshida, Y., Ochieng, T.N., Koessler, A.K., Lutti, N., Mannetti, L., & Arroyo-Robles, G. 2022. Chapter 5: The role of diverse values of nature in visioning and transforming towards just and sustainable futures. In: Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Christie, M., Balvanera, P., Pascual, U., Baptiste, B., and González-Jiménez, D. (eds). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany.


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