WP5: Scenarios of the future

Exploring the possibilities of future land use change in Mozambique is a critical aspect of ACES. We propose to use scenarios to develop narratives of how the future may develop. Such scenarios provide an excellent participatory tool and constitute a key component of ACES impact strategy. For ecosystems in constant flux and with trajectories that are difficult to foresee, scenarios can illustrate and explore a diverse range of outcomes. They enable the integration of ecological and socio-economic elements (e.g., the empirical evidence and analyses conducted in WP2&3) and our previous work shows that scenarios provide stakeholders with versatile decision tools for land use management, something that predictive models struggle to achieve (Rounsevell and Metzger 2010). As such, they are ideally suited to help stakeholders elicit cause-and-effect linkages as well as to appreciate the scale and complexity of land use-wellbeing issues (Bennett et al. 2003). The scenarios will be created following input from our stakeholder groups to agree storylines, followed by quantitative and spatial modelling based on the BBNs, following Paterson’s ground breaking work in the UK NEA (Haines-Young et al. 2011). Scenarios will reflect the project’s scientific advances and will incorporate internally-consistent storylines of, inter alia, woodland loss/degradation, commercial agricultural expansion, forest management for carbon, national poverty alleviation, economic growth and climate change, building on our previous work on climate change impacts in Mozambique (Asante et al. 2009). As such, the scenarios will provide critical insights into the robustness of current and planned policy (e.g., the National Agriculture Development Programme). The Impact Fellow will then use the scenarios to illustrate potential land use futures and their impacts on rural wellbeing, and to empower our communities of practice to promote and implement pro-poor policy. In particular our associated TREDD project will be able to incorporate the results of these scenarios as it implements £1.97 M-worth of projects designed to alleviate poverty by improving land use.