Building scenarios

Economic and environmental modelling provides a practical way to examine the likely costs, benefits and overall implications of a green economy approach.

The reliability of the modelling work was greatly enhanced by the use of a participatory approach in developing appropriate development scenarios, defining drivers and cause - effect relations, and collating data input into models. Stakeholders provided input to explore the prospects of future development.

A first attempt has been made for Kalimantan, which covers approximately 72% of the HoB. The approach compared, and estimated various differences between, two very different future paths, or scenarios.

Business-as-usual scenario

The first path, known as the ‘Business-as-Usual (BAU)’ scenario, was derived from a set of land cover and land use datasets that identified the areas and locations of permits for forestry, palm oil and mining development.

The scenario is based on the assumption that developments under these permits would all be implemented and that sustainable practices would not be commonplace.

Green Economy scenario

Under the ‘Green Economy (GE)’ scenario, significant changes would be implemented. For example:

  • palm oil development only takes place in degraded areas
  • certified palm oil and timber increase
  • idle forestry land is protected and/or restored
  • applications of fertilizers and pesticides are reduced
  • mining practices are aligned with international best practices
  • energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy are prioritized
  • biodiversity-based industries are expanded
  • innovative business models to build local economies are in place


Spatial scenarios for the Green Economy and Business-as-Usual scenarios were developed using the IDRISI Land Change Modeler (LCM), along with other GIS analyses. The scenarios represented inputs used to assess the gains or losses of ecosystem services using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem System Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) tools.

A dynamic simulation tool for development planning, based on Threshold 21, was used to create a more integrated nature-economy analysis.