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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA‑UAB)

How to develop degrowth scenarios for biodiversity?

14 May 2024
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Although economic growth is a key driver of biodiversity loss, the scenarios developed so far consider that the economy must continue growing. This leads to bleak futures for biodiversity.


A new study involving ICTA-UAB researcher Gonzalo Gamboa suggests a series of key methodological steps to include economic systems where the priority is not growth but the wellbeing of people and nature. The conclusions have recently been published in the scientific journal Sustainability Science.

These steps include:

  1. Producing degrowth visions for high-income countries based on seeds of transformation and the Nature's Future Framework.
  2. Identifying leverage points and imagining degrowth pathways with participatory methods and a theory of system transformation.
  3. Identifying key relationships between economic (de)growth and biodiversity through cutting-edge research.
  4. Modelling biodiversity, nature's contributions to people, and good quality of life with different approaches at the interface between economy and ecology.  

To develop the new scenarios, the authors call for collaborations across the natural and social sciences, quantitative and qualitative approaches, and diverse perspectives from the Global North and the Global South.

The new scenarios could contribute to transform national and international biodiversity and sectoral policies, for instance through transdisciplinary deliberations in the IPBES.


Article reference:
Otero, I., Rigal, S., Pereira, L. et al. Degrowth scenarios for biodiversity? Key methodological steps and a call for collaboration. Sustain Sci (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-024-01483-9