The purpose of this step is to paint a picture of how the world would look if you did nothing. Too often, conservation targets and other primary interests are in decline. In these cases, a conservation strategy could be considered successful even if it only maintains current conditions as they are today. The most relevant comparison for understanding the benefit of a conservation strategy is in comparison with a “do nothing” world. In some contexts, this is referred to as a ‘baseline scenario’ or ‘business as usual’ abbreviated as BAU.
Map the expected future distribution and status of each conservation (e.g. fish species diversity by river reach) and human well-being interest (e.g. drinking water quality, fire frequency near residential areas, air pollution in high population density areas) identified in your minimum goal statement. Also map the status of any elements identified in your results chains as potential risks (e.g. non-target species that may be negatively affected by restoration, low income neighborhoods that may be negatively affected by altered access to an urban park, non-engaged indigenous communities that may be harmed by engagement with other indigenous communities).
This map(s) should be forward looking over the period of time you have identified in the scoping phase (e.g. if your minimum goals were set for a 5 year time horizon, this map should reflect how you think conditions will look in 5 years). Projections of some useful information may be for longer time periods, so you may choose to use a longer time frame for this analysis. But please note, you must use the same time frame for all data sets and all maps in this step of Cbd 2.0 (strategy and opportunity mapping) and have a means to adjust the impacts you estimate back to the timeframe of your minimum goal statement.
Consider the following three illustrative examples of minimum goal statements, and relevant elements that might be included to create ‘business as usual’ maps for them.