ScenNet, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Scenarios Network


ScenNet aims to strengthen national and international ties between researchers working on scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services in all aspects of these scenarios from the modelling of impacts of global change to projecting socio-economic development and feedbacks on decision-making.

Scenarios are a crucial tool for foresight analysis used successfully in the past, notably by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Scenarios allow exploration and communication of the outcome of certain narratives for societal and environmental development, using scientific knowledge, irrespective of the assumed likelihood of current trends to continue into the future.

ScenNet is set in the context of rapidly evolving international research programmes and assessment bodies, and the rapid growth that characterises the field of research on scenarios and ecosystem services, such as the rise of projections of global change impacts on biodiversity. This rapid evolution of research on scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services has led to several international research and networking projects specifically focusing on scenarios sch as the EUSCOST network Harmbio, Harmonising Global Biodiversity Modelling that involves 23 partner countries, and the project on the Operational Potential of Ecosystem Research Applications (OPERAs) that involves 27 different European organisations. ScenNet provides the opportunity to create a very broad base of researchers working on scenarios that goes well beyond existing networks.


The goals

The primary objectives of ScenNet are to:

  • building a well-structured community of researchers from a wide range of disciplines
    working on the interactions between socio-economic scenarios and models of global change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services to support research within the context of Future Earth;
  • contribute to national and global assessment processes, especially the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), by facilitating identification of experts, improving the availability and visibility of pertinent research and stimulating assessment relevant research;
  • address key knowledge gaps and improve the usefulness of scenarios in decision-making at a wide range of scales, in particular by identifying crucial issues that need to be addressed in the event of a research-oriented call for proposals by the Belmont Forum in 2017.


The pillars

To meet its goals, ScenNet is based on four main pillars:

  1. three international workshops held in 2015 and 2016 to systematically review models and scenarios, build capacity for scenario development and use, and review scenarios for decision support, respectively;
  2. reinforcement of national networks by collaborating with existing structures where they exist in order to maintain and expand these networks; and identify and mobilise researchers working on scenarios in countries where scenarios are not currently brought together in a dedicated network;
  3. an international conference on Scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services held on 24–26 August 2016, in Montpellier, France, after the release of Deliverable 3(c): Policy support tools and methodologies for scenario analysis and modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services based on a fast track assessment and a guide of IPBES in early 2016;
  4. the development of a web-based tool for global networking that consists of a global database, accessible by all; no global databases specifically focusing on scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services currently exist.



On 24-26 August 2016 will be held ScenNet2016, the International Conference on Scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services in support of decision making in Montpellier, France.

The conference covers scenarios and modelling applications in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems and intends to mobilise experts in all relevant disciplines of natural and social sciences, policy-makers and other practitioners. It will focus on models of human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services; the use of scenarios and models as decision-support tools; the use of observations of biodiversity and ecosystem services in models; capacity-building; and knowledge gaps.

More information


Project progress

  • 17-19 June 2015, Tokyo, Japan • Workshop 1: Developing Training Programmes for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Scenarios. More here.
  • 1 -5 February 2016, Lorne (Victoria), Australia • Workshop 2: Increasing the utility and use of biodiversity and ecosystem service scenarios and models for decision making and agenda setting at geo-political scales. More here.
  • January 2015 • Project sarts.

June 2016