Land use decisions are currently based on a poor understanding of trade-offs regarding carbon effects of different land uses. Future scenarios workshops bring multilevel governance research together with data on landscape level carbon management, to enable actors from multiple levels and sectors to analyze alternative carbon futures. We developed a method for generating scenarios of land use and forecasting the carbon implications of these distinct options, while also considering trade-offs with other desired outcomes and governance issues. The carbon implications of these scenarios are computed with CarboScen, a simple carbon bookkeeping tool that takes slow changes in carbon density realistically into account.
The future scenarios method utilized is particularly useful for landscapes of 50,000 to 500,000 hectares – large enough to comprise multiple drivers and actors, but small enough to build on concrete knowledge of the geographical location. An accurate and current land use map is an essential part of the exercise. Workshops were conducted in two regions each in Peru, Indonesia, Tanzania and Mexico. The workshop guide is available on this web site.
The workshop concludes with a discussion of pathways for reaching desirable scenarios, including the development of criteria and indicators for change, including governance indicators. Further workshops have been conducted in some locations to continue the process of developing governance monitoring tools.