Projects tagged #conservation planning

  1. Marine spatial planning, Madagascar


    Partners: Wildlife Conservation Society, University of California, Berkeley

    The Government of Madagascar has committed to increase marine protected area coverage by over one million hectares. To assist this process, we compared four methods for marine spatial planning of Madagascar's west coast. Input data for each method was drawn from the same variables: fishing pressure, exposure to climate change, and biodiversity (habitats, species distributions, biological richness, and biodiversity value). The first method compares visual color classifications of primary variables, the second uses binary combinations of these variables to produce a categorical classification of management actions, the third is a target-based optimization using Marxan, and the fourth is conservation ranking with Zonation. We present results from each method, and compare the latter three approaches for spatial coverage, biodiversity representation, fishing cost and persistence probability.

    With this work, we show that methods based on Zonation and a simple combination of variables can produce results comparable to Marxan for species representation and catch losses, demonstrating the value of comparing alternative approaches during initial stages of the planning process. Choosing an appropriate approach ultimately depends on scientific and political factors including representation targets, likelihood of adoption, and persistence goals.

    To read more, see full article published in PLOS ONE

    Tags: conservation planning, Madagascar, Marxan

    Posted almost 8 years ago.
  2. Global Priority Setting


    Clients: US-AID EGAT/NRM.

    For this project I developed an ArcView-based tool for ranking and displaying areas according to their biological value. Unlike optimization tools such as Marxan, the tool produces rankings of two-dimensional areas (e.g. countries, ecoregions) in map and list form. First, the users provide attributes (e.g. species richness and endemism) and optional weights. The tool then calculates rankings by arithmetic combination using a Euclidean distance measure.

    This tool was recently used in two global biodiversity priority-setting exercises. In the first case, WWF-US used the tool to explore and evaluate ecoregions based on attributes such as species richness, endemism, and degree of protection. A 2005-2006 reorganization of their global programs was informed, in part, by the results of this exercise. In the second example, USAID recently used the tool for a similar exercise to rank countries by biological value. USAID is using the results to inform budgetary allocations for biodiversity conservation.

    Publication on Ecoregions: Olson D.M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E.D., Burgess, N.D., Powell, G.V.N, Underwood, E.C., D'amico, J.A., Itoua, I., Strand, H.E., Morrison, J.C., Loucks, C.J., Allnutt, T.F., Ricketts, T.H., Kura Y., Lamoreux, J.F., Wettengel, W.W., Hedao, P. and Kassem, K.R. 2001. Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth. BioScience 51:11 pp. 933-938.

    Tags: conservation planning, global, priority setting

    Posted almost 8 years ago.
  3. Guianan Moist Forests


    Clients: WWF-Guianas; WWF-US.

    The Guianan Moist Forests are a WWF "Global 200" priority ecoregion. Stretching across almost 550,000 km² of Northeastern South America, these tropical broadleaf forests, though relatively under-explored, are among the richest in the world in terms of plant and animal species. Unlike many lowland tropical forests today, however, the Guianan Moist Forests are relatively undisturbed. Close to 90% of the ecoregion remains in a natural state.

    In the mid-2000's I worked with the WWF-Guianas program and local partners to develop a joint terrestrial-freshwater "Conservation Vision" for the Moist Forest ecoregion. This involved collecting spatial data for focal species, helping to produce an ecoregion-wide vegetation classification, developing a GIS and MARXAN-based methodology for identifying and mapping priority landscapes, and providing GIS trainings for local staff and partners.

    We used MARXAN to develop a series of potential conservation scenarios for the ecoregion. Each scenario meets focal conservation targets and differs in compactness, target levels, and overall "cost" calculated using a measure of human impact and access.

    See also: Schipper, J., G. Clarke, and T. Allnutt. 2007. Conservation Planning in a Tropical Wilderness: Opportunities and Threats in the Guianan Ecoregion Complex. In: Watson, A., Sproull, J., Dean, L., comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: 8th World Wilderness Congress symposium: September 30–October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

    Tags: conservation planning, Guianas, WWF

    Posted almost 8 years ago.