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Call for Papers for “Future scenarios for socio-ecological production landscape and seascape”


Core research agendas for sustainability science include the following: (1) co-designing future scenarios and visions with a participatory approach, (2) integrating indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) systems into both scientific knowledge and future scenarios, and (3) the formulation of actions to transform society toward a more sustainable future (Miller et al. 2014; Schneider and Rist 2014; Kishita et al. 2016).

In 2016, The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) approved a methodological assessment report on scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This report guides experts regarding the use of scenarios and models to perform assessments within IPBES. Moreover, it guides scientists, stakeholders, and decision makers. In this assessment report, “Scenarios” are defined as representations of possible futures for one or more components of a system. In this case, this is achieved with particular emphasis on drivers of change in nature and natural resources, including alternative policy or management options. Furthermore, “models” are defined as qualitative or quantitative descriptions of key components of a system and of the relationships that exist between those components.

While IPBES has identified the development of scenarios as a key to aid decision makers in identifying potential impacts of different policy options, it currently lacks studies on substantial long-term-scenario approaches (Kok et al. 2017). IPBES emphasizes the importance of ILK together with the social–ecological dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystem services; therefore, engaging with the substantial diversity of local contexts through participatory processes is essential.

To meet this challenge, the authors launched a new project in 2016 named “Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Service (PANCES)”. The aim of this project is to develop an integrated assessment model of social–ecological systems to predict and assess natural and socio-economic values of natural capital and ecosystem services in Japan under various future scenarios (including differing socio-economic conditions and policy options) (PANCES website: PANCES also promotes multilevel governance of natural capital to maintain and improve “inclusive wellbeing” and to demonstrate the integrated assessment model at both national and local scales in Japan and beyond.

Aims and scope of special feature

This special feature (SF) will offer an opportunity to present and share the updated science-policy issues regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) scenarios and modeling, case studies on local to regional scales, capacity building efforts for BES scenarios and modeling, and policy support examples using BES scenarios and modeling. This SF will contribute to mobilizing and activating researchers and policy makers to strengthen the network and partnership of BES scenarios and models beyond local and national scales.

The SF will start with a group of papers from the PANCES project, and it welcomes additional contributions on the following themes:

  • Critical analyses of the state-of-the-art and good practices for using scenarios and models in assessments, and design and implementation of policies relevant to BES (IPBES 2016).

  • Effective use of scenarios and models across a broad range of decision-making contexts and scales (IPBES 2016).

  • Participatory scenario building through the mobilization of ILK holders.

  • Integration/combination of climate and ecosystem scenarios.

  • Understanding and explaining the important relations and feedback between components of coupled social–ecological systems through scenarios and modeling studies.

  • Assessment of uncertainty associated with models.

  • Building human and technical capacity to develop and use scenarios and models.

  • Scenarios and models to estimate future changes in interaction between terrestrial and marine ecosystem services.

This SF is not limited to global analysis, and open submissions on a country or regional analysis related to scenarios and models of natural capital and ecosystem services are encouraged. Sustainability Science accepts various forms of contribution, including original research articles, case studies, methodological advancements, assessments of the state of knowledge, and commentaries. See paper categories here:

Deadlines, submission, and review process

Authors are encouraged to submit extended abstracts (maximum 500 words) to the editors of the SF. Upon acceptance, authors will be invited to submit full-length manuscripts through the journal’s electronic editorial management system, keeping in mind publisher formatting guidelines and length requirements. At this point, authors should state if they are submitting their work to be considered for the “Future scenarios for socio-ecological production landscape and seascape” SF. Papers will go through a blind review process.

Submit abstracts to

Author’s guidelines

Submission guidelines

For submission through EM system, please register in EM system (below link) and submit your article selecting the SF title. You can see author tutorial on right side of the registration page. Please, tag your submission with the SF tag “future scenarios for socio-ecological production landscape and seascape”.

Important dates and deadlines

September 30, 2017: submission of extended abstracts (maximum 500 words).

March 31, 2018: submission of full papers though EM system.

Spring 2019: expected publication of the SF.


  • IPBES (2016) Summary for policymakers of the methodological assessment of scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

  • Kishita Y, Hara K, Uwasu M, Umeda Y (2016) Research needs and challenges faced in supporting scenario design in sustainability science: a literature review. Sustain Sci 11(2):331–347

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  • Kok MTJ, Kok K, Peterson GD, Hill R, Agard J, Carpenter SR (2017) Biodiversity and ecosystem services require IPBES to take novel approach to scenarios. Sustain Sci 12(1):177–181

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  • Schneider F, Rist S (2014) Envisioning sustainable water futures in a transdisciplinary learning process: combining normative, explorative, and participatory scenario approaches. Sustain Sci 9(4):463–481

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Correspondence to Kazuhiko Takeuchi.

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Takeuchi, K., Saito, O., Hashimoto, S. et al. Call for Papers for “Future scenarios for socio-ecological production landscape and seascape”. Sustain Sci 12, 633–634 (2017).

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