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The Partnership is structured into five case studies, each of which will apply a mixture of the Partnership’s cross-cutting methodology. We will synthesize the case studies to identify and examine the linkages, opportunities, and barriers for achieving FCB goals across spatial and temporal scales and social and ecological contexts.

Methodological approach: Four methods will be utilized in the five case studies, each supported by a methodological project team in the Partnership.

Scenarios Development

Scenarios development (led by Peterson & Pereira) is widely used to support decision making, especially in highly uncertain situations. Scenario planning facilitates the development of policy-relevant set of alternative futures. Scenarios can vary both in their assumptions about how the world will unfold, and what policies or strategies different actors will implement in that world. The use of environmental scenario methods has been rapidly growing, but the field is fragmented and could benefit from improvement in research methods. Knowledge gaps are particularly apparent in two priority areas:

  • Effective cross-scale scenario methods that include diverse dynamic feedbacks between people and the living world, and
  • Pathways towards sustainable ‘desirable’ futures for FCB that explicitly account for the pluralistic views and values of stake- and knowledge- holders.

For each case study, members of the Partnership and knowledge-holders will co-create plausible futures and narratives of food production systems that represent a diversity of values and worldviews. Scenarios of ‘desirable’ futures will be developed using the IPBES ‘Nature Futures’ framework and through a series of participatory workshops using a mixture of qualitative methods and quantitative modelling approaches to bridge knowledge systems. In each case study, we will organize at least three workshops to bring together diverse rights-holders, stakeholders and knowledge-holders to develop future visions and perspectives, explore transformative scenario narratives and pathways, and discuss the implications for relevant policy-related questions under the developed scenarios.

Integrated Modelling

Integrated modelling (led by Alkemade & Cheung) has been developed to examine questions related to FCB from local to global scales and uses both qualitative and quantitative frameworks. Integrated modelling is a systems analysis approach that combines disciplinary-based (e.g., economics, human behaviour, biology, climate) models, data, and assessment methods to form a modelling tool capable of exploring system-scale problems. Integrated modelling can be quantitative or qualitative. While integrated modelling has provided influential contributions to environmental policies (e.g., climate policies, most existing models focus only on limited dimensions of FCB (e.g., on sustainable use of wild species, while not including bio-cultural aspects) and do not sufficiently represent4 FCB interactions across spatial and temporal scales. Applications of integrated modelling to inform FCB challenges are also largely limited to developed regions because of the lack of financial and knowledge capacity in many developing regions. Solving-FCB will develop linkages between quantitative and qualitative approaches to accommodate the diversity of social and ecological contexts and apply such models in our case studies to explore alternative transformative pathways developed from the scenario exercises. The Partnership includes members who are leaders in integrated modelling initiatives addressing FCB-related topics at international and local levels . The Partnership will develop linkages between existing integrated models across systems (e.g., land and ocean), sectors (e.g., fisheries and agriculture), disciplines (economic and ecological), and scales (spatial and temporal) for each case study. Since most of our case studies are in regions where the capacity for developing and applying integrated modelling to address FCB-related challenges is limited, the Partnership will support the development of such modelling capacity in these regions, serving as a foundation for replication beyond our case studies.

Participatory research methods

Participatory research methods (led by Teh & Teh) are inclusive and systematic approaches to produce solution-oriented knowledge with stakeholders. A participatory process is one in which stakeholders, often guided by researchers, engage in a collaborative process in order to stimulate innovation, encourage social learning, integrate different forms of knowledge, expectations, and perceptions, and to mitigate conflicts. Participatory processes are increasingly implemented in social-ecological research on topics such as climate adaptation, in which stakeholder engagement processes such as scenario-based analysis are used to increase integration of knowledge into science and decision-making. These processes and tools are suitable for our research given the Partnership’s need to integrate the multi-dimensional knowledge that makes up the FCB nexus. Participatory methods will be applied in all components of the project to facilitate the co-development, translation and transmission of knowledge and solutions generated from our research to diverse stakeholders and knowledge-holders, including resource users and managers, and national/international policy makers. For each case study, participatory workshops and focus group discussions will be conducted to provide spaces for researchers and knowledge users to actively engage in co-creating and sharing knowledge. This process allows different perspectives and knowledge systems to be blended, and ensures that the research is solution-oriented and aligned with users’ needs.

Decision support framework

Decision support framework (led by Martin) help translate existing and new knowledge to support policy discussions related to solving FCB challenges. Recently, an approach called Priority Threat Management (PTM) has been developed to support decision to manage multiple environmental challenges in situations where information is limited, with consideration of the likely benefits, cobenefits, costs and trade-offs of possible management strategies. The PTM framework has been applied successfully to solve complex biodiversity conservation problems. The framework brings stakeholders, rights- and knowledge holders together to define and prioritise strategies for managing challenges of social-ecological systems, making it a suitable framework for this Partnership.

For each case study, the Partnership will apply the PTM framework to synthesize the knowledge generated from scenarios and integrated modelling and expert knowledge through structured expert elicitation workshops to identify the scopes of the FCB challenges, potential solution options and their cost‐effectiveness, and possible ways to communicate and integrate policy recommendations. We will use the PTM framework to:

  1. Help identify the types of information that policy-makers and stakeholders need, globally and regionally, to apply a nexus approach to solve FCB challenges;
  2. Interactively explore the effectiveness of the scenarios and associated visualization developed by the Partnership to support FCB policy discussions;
  3. Facilitate the general use of the outputs from the Partnership to develop solutions for FCB challenges in different decision-making contexts.

Through applying the PTM framework, we will develop communication platforms preferred by the stakeholders, rights-holders and policy-makers to help them examine the portfolios of solutions for FCB challenges