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Synthesis of the Storylines

Steven J Cork, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and Land & Water Australia
Garry D Peterson, Department of Geography & McGill School of the Environment, McGill University
Elena M Bennett, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Gerhard Petschel-Held, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research–Deceased
Monika Zurek, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)


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This paper outlines the qualitative components (the storylines) of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) scenarios. Drawing on a mixture of expert knowledge, experience, and published literature, we have explored plausible consequences of four trajectories for human development. The storylines have been designed to draw out both benefits and risks for ecosystems and human well-being in all four trajectories with enough richness of detail to allow readers to immerse themselves in the world of the scenario. Only a summarized version of the storylines is presented here; readers are encouraged to read the more detailed versions (MA 2005). Together with the quantitative models (Alcamo et al. 2005) the storylines provide a base from which others can consider implications for policy and practice in more depth, adding their own interpretations, experience, and imagination. This is the purpose of the following papers in this volume.

Key words

adaptive governance; economic development; ecosystem services; environmental management; environmental technology; futures; poverty reduction; regime shifts; resilience; scenarios; urbanization

Copyright © 2006 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087