Targets for human development are increasingly connected with targets for nature, however, existing scenarios do not explicitly address this relationship. Here, we outline a strategy to generate scenarios centred on our relationship with nature to inform decision-making at multiple scales.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Ferrier, S. et al. (eds) The Methodological Assessment Report on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, 2016). 

  2. 2.

    Pereira, H. M. et al. Science 330, 1496–1501 (2010).

  3. 3.

    Kok, M. T. et al. Sustain. Sci. 12, 177–181 (2017).

  4. 4.

    Moss, R. H. et al. Nature 463, 747–756 (2010).

  5. 5.

    Alcamo, J., van Vuuren, D. & Ringer, C. in Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Scenarios Vol. 2 (eds Carpenter, S. R., Prabhu, L. P., Bennet, E. M. & Zurek, M. B.) 147–172 (Island Press, 2005).

  6. 6.

    van Vuuren, D. P. & Carter, T. R. Clim. Change 122, 415–429 (2014).

  7. 7.

    van Zeijts, H. et al. European Nature In The Plural: Finding Common Ground For A Next Policy Agenda (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2017).

  8. 8.

    Kok, M. et al. How Sectors Can Contribute To Sustainable Use And Conservation Of Biodiversity CBD Technical Report No. 79 (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2014).

  9. 9.

    Ferguson, B. C., Frantzeskaki, N. & Brown, R. R. Landsc. Urban Plan. 117, 32–45 (2013).

  10. 10.

    Isbell, F. et al. Nature 477, 199–202 (2011).

  11. 11.

    Harrison, P. et al. Ecosyst. Serv. 9, 191–203 (2014).

  12. 12.

    Civantos, E., Thuiller, W., Maiorano, L., Guisan, A. & Araújo, M. B. BioScience 62, 658–666 (2012).

  13. 13.

    van der Sande, M. T. et al. Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain. 26, 69–76 (2017).

  14. 14.

    Rieb, J. et al. BioScience (in the press).

  15. 15.

    Bauch, C. T., Sigdel, R., Pharaon, J. & Anand, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 14560–14567 (2016).

  16. 16.

    An, L. Ecol. Model. 229, 25–36 (2012).

  17. 17.

    Pecl, G. T. et al. Science 355, 6332 (2017).

  18. 18.

    Leadley, P. et al. BioScience 64, 665–679 (2014).

Download references


These recommendations emerged from a workshop held at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), in Leipzig, between 3 and 6 October 2016, organized and funded by the Technical Support Unit on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of IPBES Deliverable 3c, and iDiv. I.M.D.R. has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 703862.

Author information


  1. German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), 04103, Leipzig, Germany

    • Isabel M. D. Rosa
    • , Henrique M. Pereira
    • , Carsten Meyer
    • , Laetitia M. Navarro
    • , Carsten Nesshöver
    •  & Josef Settele
  2. Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06108, Halle, Germany

    • Isabel M. D. Rosa
    • , Henrique M. Pereira
    • , Laetitia M. Navarro
    •  & Ralf Seppelt
  3. Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO), Universidade do Porto, 4485-661, Vairāo, Portugal

    • Henrique M. Pereira
  4. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Land and Water, Canberra, 2601, Australia

    • Simon Ferrier
  5. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2500 GH, The Hague, The Netherlands

    • Rob Alkemade
    • , Eefje den Belder
    • , Marcel T. J. Kok
    • , Tanya Lazarova
    • , Aafke M. Schipper
    •  & Detlef van Vuuren
  6. Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning, College of Human Ecology, University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), 4031, Laguna, Philippines

    • Lilibeth A. Acosta
  7. Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 11794-5245, USA

    • H. Resit Akcakaya
  8. Agrosystems Research, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands

    • Eefje den Belder
  9. University College of Environment, Karaj, 14155-6135, Iran

    • Asghar M. Fazel
  10. ECO Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ECO-IEST), Karaj, 31746-118, Iran

    • Asghar M. Fazel
  11. Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8506, Japan

    • Shinichiro Fujimori
  12. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), A-2361, Laxenburg, Austria

    • Shinichiro Fujimori
  13. United Nations Environment Programme, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, CB3 0DL, UK

    • Mike Harfoot
  14. Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), Maadi, Cairo, 11728, Egypt

    • Khaled A. Harhash
  15. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP, UK

    • Paula A. Harrison
  16. UFZ — Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, 04318, Leipzig, Germany

    • Jennifer Hauck
    •  & Carsten Nesshöver
  17. CoKnow Consulting, 04838, Jesewitz, Germany

    • Jennifer Hauck
    •  & Ralf Seppelt
  18. Directorate of Agro and Nature Knowledge, Ministry of Economic Affairs, 2594 AC, The Hague, The Netherlands

    • Rob J. J. Hendriks
  19. Centre for World Economy Studies (CIEM), Miramar, 11300, Habana, Cuba

    • Gladys Hernández
    •  & Ramon Pichs
  20. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 06520-8106, USA

    • Walter Jetz
    •  & Carsten Meyer
  21. Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK

    • Walter Jetz
  22. Public Administration Group, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands

    • Sylvia I. Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen
  23. National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon, 33657, Republic of Korea

    • HyeJin Kim
  24. Research Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa

    • Nicholas King
  25. I.I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, 01030, Ukraine

    • Grygoriy O. Kolomytsev
  26. Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, Université Paris-Sud, 91405, Orsay, France

    • Paul Leadley
  27. Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand

    • Carolyn J. Lundquist
  28. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA), Hamilton, 3216, New Zealand

    • Carolyn J. Lundquist
  29. IRI THESys, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10117, Berlin, Germany

    • Jaime García Márquez
  30. IPBES secretariat, D-53113, Bonn, Germany

    • Hien T. Ngo
  31. Centre for Economics, Environment and Society, Bangalore, 560 047, India

    • Karachepone N. Ninan
  32. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (MACN-CONICET), C1405DJR, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    • Maria G. Palomo
  33. Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa

    • Laura M. Pereira
  34. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden

    • Garry D. Peterson
  35. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Telegraphenberg, 14473, Potsdam, Germany

    • Alexander Popp
  36. Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, UK

    • Andy Purvis
  37. Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânica (ICAAM), University of Évora, 7002-554, Évora, Portugal

    • Federica Ravera
  38. Agroecology and Food Systems, UVic-Universitat Central De Catalunya, 08500 Vic, Barcelona, Spain

    • Federica Ravera
  39. CREAF, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193, Catalonia, Spain

    • Federica Ravera
  40. Global Mammal Assessment Program, Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185, Rome, Italy

    • Carlo Rondinini
  41. Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, 500016, India

    • Jyothis Sathyapalan
  42. UFZ — Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, 06120, Halle, Germany

    • Josef Settele
  43. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa

    • Nadia Sitas


  1. Search for Isabel M. D. Rosa in:

  2. Search for Henrique M. Pereira in:

  3. Search for Simon Ferrier in:

  4. Search for Rob Alkemade in:

  5. Search for Lilibeth A. Acosta in:

  6. Search for H. Resit Akcakaya in:

  7. Search for Eefje den Belder in:

  8. Search for Asghar M. Fazel in:

  9. Search for Shinichiro Fujimori in:

  10. Search for Mike Harfoot in:

  11. Search for Khaled A. Harhash in:

  12. Search for Paula A. Harrison in:

  13. Search for Jennifer Hauck in:

  14. Search for Rob J. J. Hendriks in:

  15. Search for Gladys Hernández in:

  16. Search for Walter Jetz in:

  17. Search for Sylvia I. Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen in:

  18. Search for HyeJin Kim in:

  19. Search for Nicholas King in:

  20. Search for Marcel T. J. Kok in:

  21. Search for Grygoriy O. Kolomytsev in:

  22. Search for Tanya Lazarova in:

  23. Search for Paul Leadley in:

  24. Search for Carolyn J. Lundquist in:

  25. Search for Jaime García Márquez in:

  26. Search for Carsten Meyer in:

  27. Search for Laetitia M. Navarro in:

  28. Search for Carsten Nesshöver in:

  29. Search for Hien T. Ngo in:

  30. Search for Karachepone N. Ninan in:

  31. Search for Maria G. Palomo in:

  32. Search for Laura M. Pereira in:

  33. Search for Garry D. Peterson in:

  34. Search for Ramon Pichs in:

  35. Search for Alexander Popp in:

  36. Search for Andy Purvis in:

  37. Search for Federica Ravera in:

  38. Search for Carlo Rondinini in:

  39. Search for Jyothis Sathyapalan in:

  40. Search for Aafke M. Schipper in:

  41. Search for Ralf Seppelt in:

  42. Search for Josef Settele in:

  43. Search for Nadia Sitas in:

  44. Search for Detlef van Vuuren in:


I.M.D.R. and H.M.P. wrote the paper with input from all co-authors. All co-authors were participants in the workshop, and provided comments and revisions to the manuscript. Note that the author list, after the fourth author, is in alphabetic order by authors’ surname.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Isabel M. D. Rosa or Henrique M. Pereira.

About this article

Publication history



Further reading

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing