Scientific Journal (JRNL)
This paper presents a series of narratives that can be used to define possible future trends in the global forest sector across the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), which we refer to as Forest Sector Pathways (FSPs). SSPs are part of a new scenario framework established by the climate change research community that facilitate the integrated analysis of future climate impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation, and mitigation. The SSPs are based on five narratives describing alternative socio-economic pathways, including sustainable development, regional rivalry, inequality, fossil-fueled development, and middle-of-the-road development. The long-term demographic and economic projections of the SSPs depict a wide uncertainty range consistent with the scenario literature. However, the literature on sector-specific narratives outside of the energy and industrial sectors is currently limited, and this paper seeks to build upon existing SSP storylines by elaborating on the potential implications of SSP-related variables on forest resource management, forest product markets, wood-based bioenergy expansion, and other relevant trends in global forestry. The global forestry pathway narratives presented in this paper build on alternative futures research and multi-model inter-comparisons by further developing recent narratives with additional detail on specific issues related to the development and use of our world’s forests.