On the Plurality of Environmental Regimes of Anticipation
Insights from Forest Science and Management
In recent years, the social sciences have increasingly investigated ways in which futures are anticipated, fostered, and pre-empted. However, less attention has been given to how various predictive approaches inform different ways of acting in the present. Our article presents the results of an investigation into the current practices and agendas of forest scientists and managers in France. We first suggest how an anticipation of environmental futures is coming to the fore as an emerging field of expertise and practices in forest sciences, including predicting but also monitoring, preparing and adapting to projected futures. We then account for the co-existence of three “micro-regimes” of anticipation combining a certain approach to the forest, a certain vision of the future, and a certain type of scientific predictive approach, including different anticipatory objectives, different modelling practices, and different interactions between research and management: i/ Adapting forestry to future climates; ii/ Predicting Future Tree Biology; iii/ Monitoring forests as indicators of climate change.