Nature and Society


Connecting Nature – European Nature Outlook

Organizing stakeholders’ involvement

The European Nature Outlook is a scenario-based study, focussed on securing the future of nature and optimum development of related policies in Europe. The study is being conducted by PBL – Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency – with the support of ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation. The key methods to inform the Nature Outlook and the development of the various scenarios include a series of structured and coordinated stakeholder dialogues, online consultations and DG meetings. The aim is to discuss and assess the various ways society values nature. The study includes looking at possible policy-based strategies and practical approaches to protect and develop stronger and better integrated (multi-sectoral and civic) approaches for nature, as potential ways to enable achievement of the targets of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

The main aim is to build various perspectives in an inspiring, innovative and effective way, the European Nature Outlook serving as a point of reference and practical framework for future development and new thinking. The European Nature Outlook will aim to inspire politicians, policymakers and stakeholders at EU, national and subnational levels to find new ways to protect and develop nature in Europe. It will also aim to inspire responses and complement the midterm review of the Biodiversity Strategy 2020, to be launched in 2015.


The primary objective of this project is to contribute to the development of the European Nature Outlook taking a comprehensive and structured approach to secure the active involvement and engagement of relevant stakeholders.


Stakeholder involvement will be applied in order to build perspectives that are inspiring, realistic and recognizable by politicians, policymakers and stakeholders throughout Europe. The perspectives will be built by using different innovative techniques, integrating the results from targeted and coordinated stakeholder engagement processes, generated from diverse tools including essays, designs and model calculations. This will be implemented and elaborated through a series of dedicated and well-organised ateliers, DG-meetings and online consultations.

It will involve harnessing the inputs, insights and ideas of diverse stakeholders active at European, national and regional levels: this includes Member States, civic society organisations, businesses, local and regional governmental bodies and expert network organisations. In order to develop a number of alternative perspectives that reflect the aspirations of Europe’s citizens and sectors, there is a need to involve a number of key European stakeholders and sector representatives, as well as European policymakers through various methods and techniques (workshops, participative consultations, focus meetings, etc.).


In three future dialogues, the Nature Outlook will develop three to four perspectives. Based on the different visions of nature and biodiversity, each perspective will explore a desired future state of nature, corresponding potential stakeholder coalitions and possible actions to be taken. The perspectives will be described in storylines, based on relevant quantitative indicators and visualisations.

Following each dialogue, an online consultation of four weeks’ duration will be launched in order to generate more ideas and to give a larger group of stakeholders the possibility to get involved. All members of the European networks will be invited to participate in the online consultation. The participants of the future dialogues, as part of their involvement in the project, will be requested to ensure comprehensive dissemination of the consultation tools.


  • Ideas generated for the European Nature Outlook 2015 through successful stakeholder involvement;
  • Three successful and well attended future dialogues and three DG meetings delivered;
  • Innovative and inspiring participatory approaches used during stakeholder consultation processes;
  • Effective communication and dissemination activities delivering key messages;
  • Contribution to the development of innovative perspectives to be included in the European Nature Outlook.
  • New thinking generated, as that is required to ensure optimum gains for nature in Europe up to and beyond 2050.

Time frame

1 September 2014 until 1 September 2015.


PBL- Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency