A key part of the VALMER project was engaging important stakeholders in discussions. The “scenario” approach was chosen deliberately, as it is an effective way of involving people and moving from theory to practice. Scenario building can also be a standalone exercise, improving stakeholders’ engagement and discussion on management questions. Good engagement of stakeholders can give better, shared ownership of decisions that then improve the delivery of policy. In VALMER, scenarios were used with ecosystem service assessments (ESA) to explore stakeholder views and preferences on management options and trade-offs.
Action 3.1: Building plausible scenarios to explore possible impacts on marine ecosystem services
Combined with ESA methods, scenarios were useful participative tools in engaging stakeholders on management issues. Using scenarios, it is possible to compare different situations and to show the consequences of management choices taken. These outputs can then be shared in order to propose new management options.
Technical scenario guidelines have been produced during the VALMER project. These guidelines set out how to build scenarios in five complementary phases. A toolbox of twelve tools is also provided to help managers involve stakeholders.
In parallel with the guidelines, two transnational stakeholder events were organised in France and England to share experiences from the VALMER case study sites. These events communicated the results obtained in the project to and shared key learning points. From this, a scenario synthesis report has been written to present the approaches developed in VALMER and to explain the different tools used, their implementation and their advantages and disadvantages.
The range of scenarios from VALMER is also presented and general recommendations are given to improve the transferability and capitalization of VALMER experiences.