Spatially explicit modeling tools can be helpful in participatory scenario development with stakeholders from multiple sectors. In a set of three case studies by PBL and EcoAgriculture Partners, this combined approach demonstrated the potential to achieve progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simultaneously. This synthesis report presents lessons that can be drawn from comparing these diverse cases.
It proved to be a catalyst for building landscape partnerships and can be a foundation for landscape action planning and inspire the development of landscape-wide investment portfolios.
Spatial modeling of participatory scenarios
A key element in this project is the notion that many activities and impacts in a landscape are spatially and temporally interactive or inter-dependent, particularly in the stock and flow of ecosystem services. Our aim was to make the stakeholders more aware of these interactions, to discuss their ambitions and to analyze how these could all be realized in the landscape. Trade-offs and synergies were assessed by evaluating changes in land use and various ecosystems services, and their combined effects on progress towards fulfilling the landscape stakeholder ambitions and the selected SDG indicators on food (SDG2), water (SDG6), climate (SDG13) and life on land (SDG15).
The project is connected to ongoing landscape initiatives supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Raising awareness, improving discussions and building partnerships
The spatial modeling tools helped to increase awareness among stakeholders about landscape dynamics, such as a growing population and increasing urbanization, the expansion of agricultural production, the effects on water quantity and quality, and the development of infrastructure and mining.
Spatial modeling of alternative future scenarios proved to be a catalyst for building landscape partnerships, and for bringing to the surface stakeholder assumptions, analyses, and negotiations around strategy, production and resource management practices and spatial planning. Scenarios based on integrated approaches co-designed by stakeholders from multiple sectors, demonstrate the potential to achieve progress on multiple SDGs simultaneously.