Exploring the future land use-biodiversity-climate nexus in East Africa: an application of participatory scenario analysis

Claudia Capitani, Olivia Norfolk, Philip John Platts, Neil Burgess, Kusaga Mukama, Isaac Malugu, Pantaleo Munishi, Robert Marchant

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Climate change and land-use-land-cover change (LULCC) are expected to have major impacts on global biodiversity. In highly diverse tropical moist forests, future biodiversity trajectories will also depend on political and societal will to undertake the changes needed to reduce those impacts. We present a framework to build participatory spatially-explicit scenarios that can be used to analyse the biodiversity-climate-land-change tradeoffs, which we applied at different scales in East Africa. In Tanzania, under the business-as-usual pattern of economic growth, the Eastern Arc Mountains forests and biodiversity will be heavily impacted on, with increasing pressure on protected areas. Increasing variability of rainfall and temperature are likely to impact on where the LULCC are going to be, with the mountains likely to be refuges that are even more important for local communities. That may intensify impacts on biodiversity. In Taita Hills (Kenya) and Jimma Highlands (Ethiopia), stakeholders expected that adaptation interventions to climate change would generally improve biodiversity state. Preliminary data on birds community diversity in Taita Hills showed that though agroforestry system supports higher diversity than natural forest, species richness of rarer forest specialists remained highest within natural forests. Anticipating future conservation and agriculture interaction under climate change may contribute to set spatial priorities for intervention sites. Further investigations are required that could benefit from integrating local stakeholders’ perceptions and visions for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationGLP News
PublisherIGBP & Future Earth
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2015

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  • scenarios
  • REDD
  • Tanzania

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