Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Building Future Scenarios: Governance, Land Use, and Carbon Management at the Landscape Scale

Ashwin Ravikumar
Jazmin Gonzales Tovar
Laura Kowler
Anne M. Larson
Copyright Date: Jul. 1, 2014
Pages: 48
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 2-2)

    The workshops conducted using this guide were designed in order to meet several objectives associated with CIFOR’s study of multilevel governance and carbon management at the landscape scale. Though we reviewed multiple existing facilitation methods, we did not find any that met our specific needs, which were based on

    working with multiple stakeholders to develop future land use scenarios over detailed, bounded landscapes that encompass multiple actors and drivers of land use change.

    The method we developed draws on the facilitation of landscape scenarios at smaller scales, combining experience from participatory action research and adaptive collaborative management at community level...


    • (pp. 8-9)

      1. Introduce the workshop, and if applicable, the broader project that the facilitation team is undertaking that led to the workshop

      2. Present the landscape that will be the focus of the workshop

      3. Describe the agenda for the workshop, and mention any key ground rules for the workshop

      4. Go around the room for participants to introduce themselves. An ‘ice-breaker’ game can be employed here optionally, and/or participants may be asked to briefly “envision” a better future and share their vision with the group to encourage creative thinking early in the workshop

      Make the introduction brief and colloquial

      Show a map of the...

    • (pp. 10-11)

      The objective of this activity is to identify key moments, events, and eras in the past 20-30 years that generated changes in land use that explain the landscape as it is today. In addition to bringing everyone to the same page on key historical events, this activity also serves to identify the types of events that have driven change historically, and by extension suggest what factors may shape land use changes in the future. This is important because the following activities aim to identify these "factors of change" that will be critical in the future.

      This activity consists of the...

    • (pp. 12-13)

      Keeping in mind the key events identified in the previous activity, participants work in groups to identify “factors of change” that are likely to influence land use in the future landscape. This component of the workshop methodology borrows heavily from the future scenarios approach developed by the CCAFS (Climate Change and Food Security) research program of CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).

      A member of the facilitation team should briefly explain what a “factor of change” is. This facilitator should highlight that factors of change are variable, and are likely to exert an influence on the landscape looking to...

    • (pp. 14-15)

      The goal of this activity is to select the five most “important” and “uncertain” factors from the list consolidated in the previous stage. To accomplish this in a participatory fashion, each participant will vote for the five factors that they consider to be the most “important,” and the five that they consider most “uncertain.” Based on the vote, the factors that are widely considered to be most uncertain and also important will be selected to form the basis of the future scenarios.

      In plenary, the facilitators should explain the concepts of “importance” and “uncertainty” clearly. The “importance” of a factor...

    • (pp. 16-23)

      This activity generates the main outputs of the first day, and the preceding activities were designed to lead up to this one. Facilitators present distinct scenarios derived from the factors of change identified previously, and the workshop splits into breakout groups, with each group working on one of the proposed scenarios. With the help of a facilitator, each group will develop a scenario narrative. This narrative describes how the world will get to the state described by the factors of change in 30 years. Key plausible events in each decade leading to the scenario described will be elaborated, with associated...

    • (pp. 24-25)

      The goals of the survey are (1) to assess which scenario(s) the group deems most desirable to guide activities on the following day, and (2) to gain perspective on the participants’ perceptions of their role in the governance of land use in the landscape in practice.

      The following questions should be distributed to participants to ascertain which scenario they deem most desirable and which they deem most probable:

      In addition, the following survey may be administered to better understand the role of participants in land use governance in the real world....


    • (pp. 27-27)

      Briefly summarize the previous day’s activities, and go over the agenda for the day. Present the findings of the previous day’s survey on desirable and probable scenarios. If necessary, due to lack of responses the previous day or if there is a change of participants, this survey can be repeated after a short review of the four scenarios....

    • (pp. 28-28)

      The goal of this activity is to explain the link between land use and carbon emissions and show the carbon implications of the scenarios developed during the previous day using a simple carbon calculator.

      Explanation of the carbon calculator, and the pieces of information it requires:

      a. Carbon density of different land use classes

      b. Rate of change in carbon density of land as land use changes

      c. Current land use

      d. Future land use

      Results from the carbon calculator using the scenarios developed on the first day of the workshop will be presented.

      Feedback and questions are taken from...

    • (pp. 29-30)

      The goal of this activity is to identify key activities and steps to reach a desirable future scenario.

      After a period of individual reflection, participants will be divided into groups randomly or according to the scenario that they deemed most desirable, in order to answer the following questions. To reach the desirable future scenario (described the previous day, but not strictly constrained by its parameters), (1) what needs to be done? what strategies, steps and activities must be undertaken? (2) how will these things be accomplished?, (3) who will be in charge of taking these steps?, (4) what are the...

    • (pp. 31-32)

      The purpose of this activity is to make sure that everyone is on the same page with respect to the definition of the term “governance.” Although the term has likely been mentioned many times at this point in the workshop, different people may have different ideas about what it means. The facilitation team will provide a definition after hearing from the participants about their ideas on what the term is, ensuring that the participants have a shared understanding.

      One facilitator will lead this activity. After having a participatory brainstorm on the definition of “governance,” the facilitator will present an expert...

    • (pp. 33-35)

      The purpose of this activity is to identify indicators of governance that can be measured objectively. These indicators should be conducive to further steps with interested participants to develop a governance monitoring tool.

      The following steps are involved in this activity:

      A selected facilitator should explain the concepts of “indicators” and “monitoring” in the context of governance. An indicator can be described as something that is measurable and verifiable that tells us about something more fundamental or harder to measure. An individual indicator is usually an incomplete measure of the underlying concept that it is designed to assess, but multiple...

    • (pp. 36-36)

      If the facilitation team has conducted research prior to the workshop with results to share, this is an opportunity to do so, lending some context to the work done in the workshop and sharing relevant findings. This is highly dependent on timing, logistics, participant interest, and the results that the facilitation team has at its disposal. This step may not be relevant for all instances of this workshop....

    • (pp. 37-38)

      Collect feedback on the workshop in general and the dynamics within it in particular. This can be used to improve the methodology and ensure that participants have a chance to share their thoughts and reactions with the facilitation team. The following survey represents one option:

      Designate a facilitator for each activity in advance of the workshop so everyone knows when they are supposed to do what.

      Designate a note-taker for each phase of the activity to record what is happening and discussions. These are important for the workshop report that must be returned to participants.

      Control time as strictly as...