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Literature review of scenario methods. W.P. 5-W.P. 4 D.3 final (version 1)

Gibon A. (ed.), Simon C., Bigot G., Bommel P., Josien E., Thérond O.. 2006. Montpellier : CIRAD, 80 p..

This document is a literature review of scenario methods elaborated in the frame of ADD TRANS project (2005-2009) . Within this project, WP4 is aimed at the assessment of land use change at the farm level and its impacts on the territory and WP5 is aimed at the elaboration of an integrated approach of land-use changes in livestock farming, natural resources and ecosystems at the landscape level. Both intend to contribute to the renewal of approaches and tools of changes in livestock farming and their environmental consequences from prospective assessments based on modelling and scenarios, to support the policy decision-making process and local governance. When taking an interest in scenario methods and, by the way, in papers that address the theoretical and fundamentals in use in scenarios studies, one faces what Marien (2002) has called a 'very fuzzy multi-field'. But, when structuring future approaches into three modes of thinking: probable (related to predictive mode of thinking), possible (related to eventualities mode of thinking) and preferable (related to visionary mode of thinking), it seems that the great majority of futurists think in only one, or at most two of these three categories (Marien, 2002). Thus, we tackle and depict the wide diversity of scenario methods within the frame of "classical" modes of thinking whilst addressing evolutions of approaches, concerns and objectives. Our literature review of scenario methods highlight the increased interests, when exploring the future, into integrated approaches based on system thinking and participatory approaches, and stress the resulting methodological changes in scenario studies addressing "classical" modes of thinking. In the last part of the review, we address the recent development of new scenario methods in the environmental field. In close reference to sustainability concerns, environmental scenario studies focus more and more on improving the assessment of the links between societal change and ecosystem change from a global to a micro-scale perspective. These scenario methods appear as adaptive combinations of earlier and new approaches, methods, techniques and tools to better address both decision-making and governance processes. We focus on local scale, where interactions between ecosystem functioning and decisions of stakeholders can be concretely modelled, to illustrate such evolution by means of scenario studies combining the use of multi-agent systems and scenario methods encapsulated within a "companion modelling approach".

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