The role of participatory scenarios in ecological restoration: a systematic map protocol

Eleanor Moore*, Peter Howson, Matthew Grainger, Yit Arn Teh, Marion Pfeifer

*Corresponding author for this work

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The scale of land degradation worldwide has led the UN to declare the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and movements such as the Bonn Challenge (, have placed ecological restoration on the global policy agenda. Achieving such ambitious policy targets and restoration goals will necessitate complex trade-offs against limited time, competing knowledge, costs, resources, and varying societal preferences among different stakeholders.

Participatory scenarios are a tool to navigate uncertainties surrounding future trajectories and simultaneously incorporate different stakeholder perspectives. They can provide a path to identify collaborative solutions best suited for the local cultures and societies they are tied to. However, there is no systematic understanding of how participatory scenarios are being used in ecological restoration planning to navigate trade-offs in restoration outcomes. We will fill this research gap by mapping the existing evidence from participatory restoration scenarios to answer the primary research question ‘How are outcomes explored in participatory ecological restoration scenarios?’. This will be done through five sub-questions focussing on characteristics of the evidence base, types of study design, how outcomes and trade-offs in those are explored, and an examination of the role of participants in the scenario process and outcome determination.

This protocol outlines the methods for a systematic map to identify studies that have used participatory scenarios in restoration planning. A comprehensive and reproducible search strategy will be undertaken across bibliographic databases, web-based engines, and targeted searches in organisational online libraries. Searches will be done online in English, but results in all languages will be screened. Search results will go through a two-step screening process of against pre-determined criteria of inclusion and exclusion, for title and abstract and then full-text. Data will be extracted from eligible studies using a standardised data extraction spreadsheet where details on study characteristics, design and outcomes will be recorded. A searchable database of studies and mapping outcomes will be available upon completion of the work. The aim is to inform how scenarios can be better used as a decision-making tool to increase stakeholder participation and account for trade-offs in restoration outcomes across social, ecological, and economic dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Evidence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022


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