Applying the Nature Futures Framework to the real world
Lessons from The Netherlands reveal big potential to find common ground for actions towards positive futures
- The Nature Futures Framework was developed under the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
- It was applied in a workshop with stakeholders associated with Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen in the Netherlands
- Through the use of the NFF and the Three Horizons Framework the stakeholders could find common ground for actions towards positive futures
PARK LIFE: Engagements with stakeholders from a newly established national park in The Netherlands shows that the Nature Futures Framework (NFF) can help develop realistic visions of sustainable people-nature relationships.
This is the conclusion from a paper recently published in Ecosystems and People, lead by centre researcher Jan Kuiper together with colleagues from The Netherlands, South Africa and the US.
Centre colleagues Laura Pereira and Garry Peterson also contributed to the study.
In the study, Kuiper and his colleagues reflect on the use of the NFF developed by the taskforce on scenarios and models of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
The framework helps develop scenarios of positive futures for nature and people. Kuiper, Pereira and Peterson are a member of the IPBES taskforce.
During the recent 9th plenary meeting of IPBES, the foundations of the NFF were formally welcomed by the 139 member states.
We see big potential for its application in various contexts to facilitate discussions about the future we want for nature and people, and how to achieve them.
Jan Kuiper, lead author
Designing a new park
To test the framework in a real-world situation, the researchers mobilised a variety of stakeholders associated with the Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen in the Netherlands.
The park was created in 2016 and covers the entire coastline of the Zuid Holland province.
It includes sea, beaches, dunes, forests, agriculture, urban infrastructure and over a million inhabitants (and at least 6974 species). However, pollution, urbanisation, climate change and sea level rise are causing concern.
Local stakeholders recognised these issues and initiated a national park with the aim to create synergies between nature and human activities. This became the Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen.
As part of the work to explore positive futures for the park, Kuiper and his colleagues organised a workshop with 23 park stakeholders. The purpose was to ‘open up’ people’s thinking about desired people-nature relations.
Through the use of the NFF in combination with the Three Horizons Framework, a graphical tool used to discuss future visions and how to achieve them, the stakeholders could find common ground for actions towards positive futures.
The workshop helped the participants in their efforts to design a shared set of values and principles, the ‘DNA of the park’.
“The NFF became an easy tool for eliciting and discussing various appreciations of nature,” Jan Kuiper says.
He believes their approach is a useful addition to the diversity of current scenario approaches.
“We see big potential for its application in various contexts to facilitate discussions about the future we want for nature and people, and how to achieve them.”
At the 9th plenary meeting of IPBES, the member states invited the scientific community to try out the NFF, to inform upcoming IPBES assessment reports.
Kuiper, J.J., van Wijk, D., Mooij, W.M., Remme, R.P. et.al. 2022. Exploring desirable nature futures for Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen. Ecosystems and People Volume 18, 2022 - Issue 1, https://doi.org/10.1080/26395916.2022.2065360
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