Published Saturday, 01 November 2008

Socio-Economic Scenarios of European Development and Integrated Management of the Marine Environment 

Integrated environmental management requires a holistic assessment of social-environmental interactions to which scenario analysis is well-suited.

Building on a conceptual framework of individual choice manifested through lifestyles, this report describes the construction of four scenarios of European development reflecting alternative value systems and levels of governance stemming from such choices.

These are compared to a Baseline scenario derived from current trajectories of socio-economic change and existing or planned policy measures at the European level. The analysis of the outcomes of these scenarios in terms of pressures on the marine environment highlights differing inherent trade-offs between the extent of lifestyle choice and environmental quality in each scenario and indicates that the greatest costs to conventional economic welfare will not necessarily achieve the greatest environmental improvement.

Nevertheless, an evolution in individual values and thus lifestyle expectations is seen as necessary to societal choices which achieve environmental improvement at some cost to economic growth.