Generation and evaluation of Scenarios for Nature Conservation


Scenario procedure

Traditional planning procedures are linear: objectives are formulated, the present situation is assessed in relation to the objectives and a plan is designed that maps the future situation and includes measures necessary to achieve it. The scenario procedure is cyclical. The first cycle starts with an inventory and evaluation of the present situation. The next step is the design and evaluation of an extreme scenario to test the sensitivity of models. Several more realistic scenarios then display various options for the future land use and development. Each scenario is evaluated with respect to the economic significance and the significance for environmental protection. The conflicts resulting from these contrasting evaluations are presented to decision makers, e.g. the city council. If one scenario is accepted for more refinement, the next cycle starts. The conflicts present in this plan are objects of new scenarios, again offering different options. In an iterative optimisation process, they are again evaluated until an agreement is achieved.

Generation of scenarios and data sets

Our Working Group has experience in scenario building with GIS and regression techniques. To test and validate response models and simulation models of environmental key factors, we compile environmental data sets on different landscapes in a standardised form. The data include distribution of vegetation and animals, intensity of land uses, topography, climate and soil conditions. The data sets are currently covering agricultural areas such as the 'Porphyrkuppen' near Halle / Saale and the 'Kraichgau' between the rivers Neckar and Rhine. A transect through the city of Stuttgart represents urban landscapes. Data sets on river valleys in Northwest Germany and hilly landscapes in Southern Germany are currently compiled.
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