About ScenarioHub

ScenarioHub.net is a resource center developed by World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Capital Project, where you can:

Learn about scenarios

Learn about scenario mapping  

Find appropriate scenario tools using our tool database 

Use the Scenario Generator Workspace 

What are scenarios?

Scenarios are storylines that describe plausible futures. 

What are scenarios


Scenarios explore aspects of, and choices about, the future that are uncertain. They can include qualitative descriptions of changes (i.e., a narrative) and quantitative representations (i.e., numbers). To assess ecosystem services under different scenarios using InVEST or other ecosystem service spatial modelling tools, most scenario elements are depicted spatially (i.e., a map of land use and land cover and marine and ocean uses). Scenarios can be developed using participatory methods or by technical experts. Often scenarios are developed through a combination of both. 

Why use scenarios?

Why use scenarios

Assessing ecosystem services under scenarios can: 

  1. Show ecosystem services outcomes and change over time. 
  2. Depict the ecosystem service tradeoffs of different choices, enabling decisions among alternatives.
  3. Explore unforeseen changes in ecosystem services, enabling decision makers to anticipate and adapt. 

Ecosystem service assessments that compare scenarios are often more relevant to real-world decisions. When scenarios are developed with meaningful participation by stakeholders, the process of creating scenarios may foster learning and increase the legitimacy, relevance and credibility of the results. 

What is the Scenario Generator?

The Scenario Generator offers a relatively simple method of generating scenario maps based on stakeholder input and user-defined rules. The Scenario Generator is available within the InVEST software package. It can be used with InVEST to compare the likely ecosystem service outcomes of different scenarios. 

What is the ScenarioHub Workspace?

Scenariohub contains a workspace that facilitates use of the Scenario Generator. It can be used to collect expert judgement and stakeholder input, document qualitative scenarios for InVEST Scenario Generator, and share experiences with other Scenario Generator users.

How to create a scenario (map)?

Scenario Generator is one of many scenario tools. The best approach to create scenarios and depict the scenarios spatially varies with the purpose, scope, data availability, and budget of your project. Tour through this site to explore suitable tools and approaches for your project. 


Source: McKenzie, E., A. Rosenthal et al. 2012. Developing scenarios to assess ecosystem service tradeoffs: Guidance and case studies for InVEST users. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C.