The role of values in future scenarios: What types of values underpin (un)sustainable and (un)just futures?

Harmáčková, Zuzana V., Yoshida, Yuki, Sitas, Nadia, Mannetti, Lelani, Martin, Adrian ORCID:, Kumar, Ritesh, Berbés-Blázquez, Marta, Collins, Rebecca, Eisenack, Klaus, Guimaraes, Ellen, Heras, María, Nelson, Valerie, Niamir, Aidin, Ravera, Federica, Ruiz-Mallén, Isabel and O'Farrell, Patrick (2023) The role of values in future scenarios: What types of values underpin (un)sustainable and (un)just futures? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 64. ISSN 1877-3435

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Values have been recognized as critical leverage points for sustainability transformations. However, there is limited evidence unpacking which types of values are associated with specific types of sustainable and unsustainable futures, as described by future scenarios and other types of futures-related works. This paper builds on a review of 460 future scenarios, visions, and other types of futures-related works in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Values Assessment, synthesizing evidence from academia, private sector, governmental and non-governmental strategies, science-policy reports, and arts-based evidence, to identify the types of values of nature that underlie different archetypes of the future. The results demonstrate that futures related to dystopian scenario archetypes such as Regional Competition, Inequality, and Breakdown are mostly underpinned by deeply individualistic and materialistic values. In contrast, futures with more sustainable and just outcomes, such as Global Sustainable Development and Regional Sustainability, tend to be underpinned by a more balanced combination of plural values of nature, with a dominant focus on nature’s contribution to societal (as opposed to individual) aspects of well-being. Furthermore, the paper identifies research gaps and illustrates the key importance of acknowledging not only people’s specific values directly related to nature, such as instrumental, intrinsic, and relational human-nature values and relationships, but also broad values and worldviews that affect the interactions between nature and society, with resulting impacts on Nature's Contributions to People and opportunities for a good quality of life.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Zuzana Harmáčková’s work was supported by the NPO "Systemic Risk Institute" number LX22NPO5101, funded by European Union — Next Generation EU (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, NPO: EXCELES), SustES — Adaptation strategies for sustainable ecosystem services and food security under adverse environmental conditions project (ref. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000797), and the project Science in Action: intersecting pathways to the SDGs across scales in the drylands (XPaths), funded by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development — Formas (grant number 2020-00474 ). Yuki Yoshida was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists ( #19K13440 ) and the Climate Change Adaptation Research Program of the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan. Lelani Mannetti was supported by United States National Science Foundation grant numbers SES-1444755 (Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network) and GCR-1934933 (SETS Convergence Network). Berbés-Blázquez was funded by United States National Science Foundation grant numbers DEB-1832016 and DEB-2224662 (Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Program) and SES-1444755 (Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network). Federica Ravera was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities through a “Ramón y Cajal” research fellowship (RYC-2018-025958-I). Isabel Ruiz-Mallén was supported by the Spanish State Research Agency through a “Ramón y Cajal” research fellowship (RYC-2015-17676). We would like to sincerely thank our co-authors in the IPBES Values Assessment as well as three anonymous reviewers for their extremely helpful comments and guidance.
Uncontrolled Keywords: environmental science(all),social sciences(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2023 09:30
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2023 01:22
DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101343


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