Developing a rapid assessment tool to promote voluntary private land conservation in productive landscapes
Etchebarne Palla, V., Carabio, M., Ríos, M., Garibotto, G. and Cortés Capano, G. (2018). Developing a rapid assessment tool to promote voluntary private land conservation in productive landscapes. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/108158
© the Authors, 2018
Conservation assessments and biodiversity monitoring are key for adaptive management and are part of any conservation policy. However, designing and implementing comprehensive and affordable assessment programs remains a challenge, particularly in contexts with limited resources for conservation. Rapid assessments (RA) tools have been developed worldwide to address this challenge and support decision making. However, these tools generally require accurate ecological information and a significant allocation of resources to cover technical and implementation expenses. In addition, many of the RA tools are only focused on biodiversity, whereas in productive landscapes, agronomic information and landowners perspectives are also key for the success of the tools. In Uruguay, the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP) covers only ~1% of the land, while more than 90% of the land is privately owned and under different production regimes. Therefore, there is a need to develop and implement voluntary private land conservation strategies to complement protected areas. In order to assess the effectiveness and compliance of these strategies at the management unit level (i.e. private property), the SNAP and the national NGO Vida Silvestre Uruguay worked collaboratively to develop a RA tool, appropriate for the social-ecological and institutional contexts. First, we conducted a global systematic literature review to assess the evidence on RA tools, addressing the peer reviewed and the grey literature. We also conducted workshops with decision makers and NGO staff to understand the main needs and opportunities for the RA tool to be implemented. We then conducted expert elicitations with biodiversity and agronomic production specialists to identify a suite of appropriate ecosystem conservation indicators and their ranges, following the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation approach. Considering that the implementation of conservation actions on private land depends mostly on landowners’ willingness to collaborate, we also consulted cattle ranching landowners to include their perspectives and to identify opportunities for win-win scenarios. The ranges were then built identifying acceptable values both for biodiversity conservation and for cattle ranching, with the aim to promote sustainable use of native ecosystems and to increase landowners’ involvement. Finally, we conducted field surveys using the RA in a priority area for conservation in Uruguay to adjust and test the indicators and their ranges in a traditional cattle ranching region. As a result, our RA integrates public biodiversity databases, field data and landowners’ perspectives to support decision making. It can be applied by a broad set of stakeholders, with limited resources, in a short period of time. This tool will be tested in different regions of the country and can potentially inform the development of RA to assess and promote conservation in productive landscapes in other countries. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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