Scenario planning including ecosystem services for a coastal region in South Australia

Coastal regions provide vital ecosystem services for the human well-being. Rapid economic growth and increasing population in coastal regions is exerting more pressure on coastal environments. Here we develop four plausible scenarios to the year 2050
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  Scenario planning including ecosystem services for a coastal region inSouth Australia Harpinder Sandhu a,c, ⇑ , Beverley Clarke b , Ryan Baring a , Sharolyn Anderson c , Claire Fisk c , Sabine Dittmann a ,Stewart Walker a , Paul Sutton c,d , Ida Kubiszewski e , Robert Costanza e a College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia b College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia c School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia d University of Denver, CO, USA e Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia a r t i c l e i n f o  Article history: Received 30 June 2017Received in revised form 30 March 2018Accepted 14 April 2018 Keywords: Coastal zoneConservationEconomic valueEvidence-based decisionsResource managementSaltmarshes a b s t r a c t Coastal regions provide vital ecosystem services for the human well-being. Rapid economic growth andincreasing population in coastal regions is exerting more pressure on coastal environments. Here wedevelop four plausible scenarios to the year 2050 that address above issues in the northern Adelaidecoastline, South Australia. Four scenarios were named after their characteristics,  Lacuna ,  Gold Coast SA , Down to Earth , and  Green & Gold .  Lacuna  and  Gold Coast SA . Economy declined significantly in  Lacuna ,whereas, there is highest annual GDP growth (3.5%) in  Gold Coast SA , which was closely followed by Green & Gold  scenario(3%),GDPunder Down to Earth  growsatmoderate1.5%.Thereishighestpopulationgrowthin Gold Coast SA  followedby Green & Gold ,  Down to Earth  and Lacuna .  Gold Coast SA  scenarioledtohigh inequality as estimated by the Gini co-efficient of 0.45 compared to the current value of 0.33.Ecosystemservicesdeclinedrapidlyunder Green & Gold  and Lacuna  ascomparedtotheothertwoscenar-ios. The combination of scenario planning and ecosystem services valuation provides the capacity toguide coastal planning by illustrating enhanced social, environmental and economic benefits.   2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Globally, coastal ecosystems contribute to many vital ecosys-tem services including but not only; water purification, climateregulation, erosion control, habitat provision, recreation and cul-tural activities (Luisetti et al., 2013; Liquete et al., 2013; Costanzaet al., 2014). Coastal ecosystems typically include saltmarshes,mangroves, nearshore reefs, seagrass beds, and sandy beaches.Despitethehighecologicalandeconomicvalueofcoastalwetlands(Costanza et al., 2014), there is continuous decline in their struc-ture and function, mainly due to human activities (Barbier et al.,2011). Moreover, human population growth and coastward migra-tion is increasing rapidly, driven by rapid economic developmentin coastal regions. This growth is exerting enduring pressure oncoastal environments (Neumann et al., 2015). Currently about40% of global human population lives within 100km of the coast(Neumannetal.,2015).Itislikelythatpressuresoncoastalecosys-tems will continue to increase in the future, leading to loss of biodiversity and habitats and further losses of many essentialecosystemservices (Costanza et al., 2014; Ellis et al., 2015). There-fore, it is critical to plan strategically to manage coastal environ-ments so that they continue to provide social, environmental andeconomic benefits to residents living along the coast through theprovision of ecosystem services.Scenario planning is a structured process to explore and evalu-atealternative futuresthat maybeinfluencedbyvariousunknowndrivers(Kahane,2004; O’Brien, 2000;Costanzaetal., 2015). Duetothese unknown drivers and uncertainty, scenario planning differsfrom other types of planning such as forecasting, projections, andpredictions. Scenario planning is designed to explore plausiblefutures, not probable ones (Peterson et al., 2003). There is growinguse of scenario planning as a decision-making tool at national,regional and global levels in a participatory process that involvespolicy makers, academics, and the wider community (Reed et al.,2013; Ruiz-Mallén et al., 2015; Podolak et al., 2017). For example,at the national scale in Australia scenarios have been developed toexploreindividualandcommunityorientationtotechnologicalandeconomic growth (Costanza et al., 2015). Regional scale scenarios   2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. ⇑ Corresponding author at: College of Science and Engineering, Flinders Univer-sity, Adelaide, Australia. E-mail address: (H. Sandhu).Ecosystem Services 31 (2018) 194–207 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Ecosystem Services journal homepage:  haveexploreddifferentdriversofchangerelevanttothefocusareaincluding irrigation futures of the Goulburn Broken Region, Aus-tralia (Wang et al., 2006), social-ecological sustainability of theGuiana Shield, South America (Mistry et al., 2014), Latin AmericaEnvironment Outlook (UNEP, 2010), the Great Barrier Reef (Bohensky et al., 2011), North American grasslands (Phillips-Mao et al., 2016), Swedish forests (Carlsson et al., 2015), marine spatial planning in southern region of Los Lagos, Chile (Outeiro et al.,2015), using spatial valuation of ecosystem services into regionalplanninganddevelopmentinFinland(Tammietal.,2016)andlanduse scenarios for Chile (Martinez-Harms et al., 2017). Global scalescenarios have been developed to study the state of environment,biodiversity and economic value of ecosystem services and under-lying drivers such as climate change and economic choices withlarge scale impacts (MEA, 2005; IPCC, 2000; Kubiszewski et al.,2016, 2017). Much of the scenarios have focused on terrestrialecosystems and there has been a paucity of scenarios for coastalenvironments that utilise the ecosystem services approach(Arkema et al., 2015).The northern Adelaide coastline in the Gulf St Vincent of SouthAustralia is a unique region that supports a vast extent of largelyintact, coastal saltmarsh and temperate mangrove area in Aus-tralia. These saltmarshes and mangroves support several speciesthat are rare and endemic to this region (Edyvane, 1999;Fotheringham and Coleman, 2008; Caton et al., 2009). The Gulf StVincent also supports significant numbers of national and interna-tional migratory and resident shorebirds, recently recognized asthe Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary (Purnell et al., 2015).Yet, the northern Adelaide coastline is threatened by numerousprocesses and actions, such as sea-level rise, potential for acid sul-fatesoils, speciesloss,lossofecosystemservices,anddevelopmentpressure (Caton et al., 2009; Poch et al., 2009). Also, a large-scalesalt works industry recently ceased operation, creating challengesand providing opportunities for coastal restoration. To supportdecision making in this context and better manage the northerncoastal Adelaide region, four plausible scenarios were developedinaparticipatoryworkshopheldover four days, engagingmultiplestakeholdersfromgovernment, non-government, industry, univer-sity, community groups and others. The four contrasting scenarioswere developed in anticipation of assisting local planning pro-cesses to achieve a balance of social, environmental and economicsustainability in the northern coastal Adelaide region to the year2050. We also estimated the implications of these scenarios andtheir land use and management assumptions for the value of ecosystem services as one aspect of the assessment. We demon-strated a case study to show how ecosystem services can fit intoa regional scenario planning process within a rather limited bud-get. The contribution of this study is an example of the use of ecosystem services in scenario planning, and not in advancingmethods for the valuation of ecosystem services. 2. Study area and methods  2.1. The Barker Inlet and port river estuary region The Barker Inlet and Port River Estuary (BIPE) is located in thenorthern Adelaide coastline of South Australia (Fig. 1). The coastalwetlands in the BIPE region are identified as hosting conservationhotspotsduetoboththeexistenceandextentofanarrayofcoastalwetlands, and supratidal habitats and species (Caton et al., 2009).The region is a characteristically flat and low-lying low-energycoast with meso-tidal range and has large interconnected areasof seagrass meadows, mudflats, fringing mangroves and coastalsaltmarsh supporting a diverse range of aquatic and terrestrialfauna (Bloomfield and Gillanders, 2005; Shepherd et al., 2008). Inaddition, the saltmarshes provide an important buffer betweenland and aquatic environments. They effectively filter catchmentrun-off, thus protecting Gulf waters and seagrasses from nutrientand sediment loads (Fotheringham and Coleman, 2008). The BIPEregion is also important as significant refuge and feeding groundsfor at least 51 species of birds, both resident and migratory(Shepherd et al., 2008; Coleman and Cook, 2009; Purnell et al.,2015). In recognition of the significance of birds of this region,the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary was established in2015. The BIPE also supports a uniquely urban resident populationof dolphins and in 2005, the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary wasdeclared under legislation (Kemper et al., 2008; Cribb et al.,2013). BIPE is also a significant nursery for many recreationallyand commercially important fish species (Connolly, 1994; Fowlerand Short, 1996; Jackson and Jones, 1999).BIPE is a highly-modified ecosystem due to its history of indus-trialisation.Theregionischaracterisedbyanexpanseof salt ponds(recently decommissioned), a natural-gas fuelled electricity gener-ation plant, naval ship and submarine building facilities, that arescheduled to expand, fuel storage depots and a wastewater treat-ment plant. New proposals for further expansion of industrialand residential land releases, a major road realignment plan (aNorthern Connector route), and redevelopment of the salt pondspromote growth and expansion of both industrial and urbanaspects of the region. South Australia’s Strategic Plan, ‘The 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide’ (Government of South Australia,2010), forecast a significant increase in population growth, roadand rail traffic and economic expansion in northern Adelaide.Theregion’sdevelopmenthistoryhasalreadyhadadetrimentaleffect on habitats and species. The process of land reclamation,invasive species, the incursion of mangroves into saltmarsh,coastal acid sulphate soils, hydrological changes, off-road vehicles,waste disposal, and agricultural grazing have served to damagehabitats and reduce biodiversity (Edwards et al., 2001; Shepherdet al., 2008). Based on the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-mateChange)projectionsforsea-levelriseusingmediumandhighvalues in the IPCC range, the BIPE will be subject to increasing sealevel rise and further land subsidence (Department of ClimateChange, 2009).Land use zoning in this region is complex. Zones include: rural,industry (including mining), metropolitan open space/recreation,conservation, residential, country townships, rural living, coastal,commercial and mixed uses (Coleman and Cook, 2009). Landtenure in the region comprises both freehold titles (both privateand public) and Crown Land; some of the titled and untitled land(freehold and Crown) is overlain by 7 or 21-year mining leases(Coleman and Cook, 2009). A freehold title means the land ownerownsthepropertyoutrightinperpetuity,whereas,theCrownLandislandthatisownedandmanagedbytheSouthAustraliangovern-ment. Some of these mineral tenements have recently beenrescindedwiththeclosureof the DryCreekSalt Fields. Thismosaicof land use allocation and title complicate management and plan-ning. Adding to the complications of mixed use, competition forresources and complex zoning, responsibility for management of thelandintheBIPEregionisdividedbetweenstateandlocaljuris-dictions and administered by many different agencies (Edyvane,1999).  2.2. Scenario planning process A scenario planning workshop for the BIPE region was con-ducted at Flinders University in the City of Adelaide over four daysfrom8–11February2016. Fifty-fivepeopleattendedtheworkshoprepresenting stakeholders from State Government (21 partici-pants), Local Government (5), Industry (2), Universities (18), NGOs(3) and other community groups (6). The workshop commenced H. Sandhu et al./Ecosystem Services 31 (2018) 194–207   195  Fig. 1.  Barker Inlet and Port River Estuary of Adelaide, South Australia, with the land cover categories in early 2016.196  H. Sandhu et al./Ecosystem Services 31 (2018) 194–207   with context setting presentations on the ecology of the BIPEregion,theecosystemservicesrelevanttothearea, andanticipatedfuture developments in the region. These presentations weredelivered by academic members of the working group, and keystate and local government representatives.Wefollowedthreesteps process indevelopingscenarios for thefutureof BIPEregion. Thesewere:definingthescopeof thescenar-ios, detailed description of each scenario, and quantifying theprovision of ecosystem services due to land use change.  2.2.1. Scope of the scenarios We defined the scope of the scenarios analysis as the explo-ration of environmental benefits from the provision of 17 ecosys-tem services from the land use change to 2050 (Costanza et al.,2014) and economic benefits in the BIPE region from the ongoingdevelopment processes.A map of current land cover (2016) in the BIPE region (125,895ha) was created from a geodatabase that captured a range of sur-vey data, satellite imagery and existing GIS datasets (Fig. 1). Amixed method approach was used to analyse the imagery byapplying a combination of the maximum likelihood classificationalgorithm and an expert system to incorporate further data thatproduced a map with >90% accuracy. Only validated data wereused in the image classification process. This map was used asthe starting point of discussion for the development of scenarios.The major land cover categories in the BIPE region are; seagrass,bare bottom estuary, saltpans, saltmarsh, mangroves, built envi-ronment, agriculture, mixed green space, open fresh water, andwasteland(acidsulphate soils). Initially, the focus of the workshopwas to be on the immediate coastal zone of the BIPE region, but itbecame clear during workshop discussions that effects of the sce-narios extend to the agricultural hinterland of the northern Ade-laide plains, as well as to connectivity with the city of Adelaide.Forthisworkshop,17differentecosystemserviceswerefocusedupon after Costanza et al. (2014). Following on classification of ecosystem services by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment(MEA, 2005) and the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity(TEEB,2010),theseecosystemservicesweregroupedintofivecate-gories; 1) Regulating services (gas regulation, climate regulation,disturbanceregulation,waterregulation,watersupply,erosioncon-trol,wastetreatment,pollination,biologicalcontrol),2)Habitatser-vices (habitat/refugia), 3) Provisioning services (food production,raw materials, genetic resources), and 4) Cultural services (recre-ation,cultural),and5)Supportingservices(soilformation,nutrientcycling). Supporting services are necessary for the production of otherecosystemservices,therefore,theydonotleadtodirectbene-fitforsocietyandhencearenotincludedtoestimatethecurrentandfutureeconomicvalueof ecosystemservicesinthestudyarea.  2.2.2. Description of scenarios Scenario construction commenced with the four preliminaryscenarios sketched out at the start of the workshop, with two axes– relating to environmental and economic benefits (Fig. 2a):Scenario 1: Low attention to economic and environmentalbenefits;Scenario 2: Low attention to environmental benefits and highattention to economic benefits;Scenario 3: Low attention to economic benefits and high atten-tion to environmental benefits; andScenario 4: High attention to environmental and economicbenefits.Participants were randomly allocated to one of four groups (12to 13 people per group and one scenario per group) and asked todiscuss and respond to the following questions:1) What would be the key characteristics of the region undertheir allocated future scenario?2) What name would you give to describe your scenario?Thefourgroups,inturn,presentedtheirideasbacktothewholeworkshop including a working name and key characteristics thatdefined their scenario. Based on these characteristics, scenariodepictions were further elaborated (Fig. 2b).For each scenario, detailed narratives or stories were draftedaroundthesecharacteristicstobringthescenariostolife.Thenarra-tiveswerepresentedbacktothewholeworkshopandrefinedbasedon further discussion and contributions of all workshop attendees.The key attributes for each scenario considered were: economy, (a) (b) Fig. 2.  a) Four plausible future scenarios at the start of the workshop, and b) Fourscenarios as developed at the workshop. H. Sandhu et al./Ecosystem Services 31 (2018) 194–207   197  governance, population, built environment, natural environment.TheseattributesalignwiththeapproachesoftheMillenniumEcosys-temAssessment(MEA,2005)andotherapproachesforassessingsce-nariooutcomes(e.g.,Bohenskyetal.,2011).Eachscenariowasfurtherrefinedusingtheattributes,landcoverandnarratives.  2.2.3. Quantifying land use change and ecosystem services Toobtainstakeholderassessment of theeffectsof eachscenarioon land use and ecosystem services to 2050, participants wereasked to discuss two key questions for each scenario:1) What/Where/How would activities/land use changes occurunder this scenario?2) Whatwouldbetheimplicationsofthesechangesforecosys-tem services?Each scenariowas evaluated in two ways:i) using the 2011 unitvalues estimated by Costanza et al. (2014) and only changing landcover. Land cover classes (seagrass, bare bottom estuary, saltpans,saltmarsh,mangroves,builtenvironment, agriculture, mixedgreenspace, open fresh water, and wasteland) were chosen in alignmentwith the biomes used by Costanza et al. (2014), to allowthe use of a benefit transfer model to calculate the ecosystemservices valuesfor each land cover class. The emphasis of the study was more onthescenarioplanningandlessontheecosystemservicesvaluation.Therefore, the application of global values to this study area wasused to understand the general magnitude of ecosystem servicesas one aspect of the assessment of each scenario. For this reason,the valuation of ecosystem services, of necessity, was rather quickand simplified assessment as used in other similar scenario plan-ning exercises (Bohensky et al., 2011; Costanza et al., 2015;Kubiszewski et al., 2016, 2017). For each land cover class (Fig. 1), the number of pixels were extracted, converted to hectares (ha)andthis areawas thenmultipliedbythe unit values 2011unit val-ues estimated by Costanza et al. (2014) (converted to 2016 Aus-tralian dollar) for ecosystem services flow per ha of thecorresponding land cover class. The unit values used here includeregulating, habitat, provisioning and cultural services only andexclude supporting services. This map was used as the startingpoint of discussion for the scenarios.ii) changing both unit valuesand land use. Workshop attendees then estimated changes in landcover (seagrass, bare bottom estuary, saltpans, saltmarsh, man-groves, built environment, agriculture, mixed green space, openfresh water, and wasteland), population, GDP, and other variablessuch as inequality (Gini co-efficient; Gini, 1936) under each sce-nario to 2050 for the region. A Gini co-efficient of zero means per-fect equality, 1 means total inequality. Valueof ecosystemservicesinthesescenarioswereestimatedbychangeinthelandcovertypeand change in the unit value of ecosystem services (including reg-ulating, habitat, provisioning and cultural services only andexcluding supporting services). The change in unit valuesdepended on the land and marine management policies likely tooccur in each scenario. These per cent changes were based roughlyon the estimates included in the Bateman et al. (2013) study of sixfuture scenarios for the UK, and Kubiszewski et al. (2016, 2017).These are plausible estimates of the magnitude of change thatcouldoccur under eachhypothetical scenarioand arenot intendedto be empirically derived (Kubiszewski et al., 2016, 2017).This is a simplification of assumptions to estimate the futurevalue of ecosystemservices. However, there was a general consen-sus among the workshop participants that these are sufficient forassessing trade-offs between different scenarios and for under-standing the magnitude of total ecosystem services values in BIPEregion.Moreelaborateanalysiscanbedoneforfuturestudiesusingvarious modelling tools (Turner et al. 2016; Kubiszewski et al.,2017). Similarly, supply and demand of regulating ecosystem ser-vicesandsomeculturalservices(e.g.,inspirationforculture)aredif-ficult to estimate, as these are non-rival, non-marketable. It isassumedthattheirunitvaluesmaynotbegreatlyaffectedbytherel-ative scarcity from reduced area (Kubiszewski et al., 2017). How-ever, provisioning and habitat services are more likely to beaffected by change in area. Therefore, for the scenario analysis, weassumed that changes in supply are the major factor and the unitvalues will change mainly as a function of management policies asmentionedabove. 3. Results  3.1. Scenario characteristics The four alternative future scenarios for the BIPE region wereexpandedwiththenarrativesdevelopedattheworkshop(Table1).The narratives illustrate important components such as economy,governance, population, built environment, natural environment.The scenarios were not only differentiated in relation to environ-mental and economic benefits of the initial scenario axes, but alsoby the subsequent effects on overall human well-being.(1) Scenario 1:  Lacuna Scenario 1 began with the scaffolding: Low environmental andlow economic benefits. The name  Lacuna  was assigned to this sce-nario,referringtoahiatus,oravacuum,andisusedinthisinstanceinthesenseof‘‘nothinggetsdone”. Thisisabusiness-as-usualsce-nariodescribingaplacewherethepopulationincreasesunderariskaversegovernmentinaregionwithastagnanteconomy,experienc-ingsocialandenvironmentaldegradation,andwherethepublichaslimitedconnectionwiththeenvironment.Thereisincreasedunhap-pinessandmental healthissueswithlowindividualwell-being.(2) Scenario 2: Gold Coast SAScenario 2 began with the scaffolding: Low environmental andhigheconomicbenefits.Thename GoldCoastSA wasassignedtothisscenariowithreferencetoAustralia’sEasternGoldCoast,andothersimilarlyhighlydevelopedcoastlines.Thenameissynonymousforaplace with much new development characterised by high-density,high-risehousingformaximumfinancialgain.Theprioritiesofthisscenario are high-class tourism and development of commercialrecreationalfacilitieswithlittleregardforthenaturalenvironment.Fewindividualsprosperandunhappinessisgrowing.(3) Scenario 3: Down to EarthScenario 3 began with the scaffolding: High environmental andlow economic benefits. The name  Down to Earth  was assigned tothis scenario, referring to a wholesome, green and clean commu-nity characterised by small sustainable neighbourhoods. This sce-nario is characterised by public and private investment inemerging green technologies expecting modest economic benefits.Emphasis is placed upon environmental protection. Large tracts of land are set aside as national parks, closed from public use anddevelopment. The community rapidly developed a sense of placeand belonging. Participation of people to take on civic duties andshare in civic responsibilities promotes more active and healthypopulation, improved social cohesion.(4) Scenario 4: Green and GoldScenario 4 began with the following scaffolding: High environ-mental and high economic benefits. The name  Green and Gold  was 198  H. Sandhu et al./Ecosystem Services 31 (2018) 194–207 
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