Working Group 4
Integrated conservation planning across terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems
Spatial planning, including the establishment of protected areas, is central to arresting the global decline of biodiversity, but many threats originate from beyond the boundaries of conservation areas. This is a particular problem in marine systems, which are influenced by many activities on land and in freshwater ecosystems. In addition, connections between land, rivers and sea support many species and ecological processes. Integrated land, freshwater and sea conservation planning is therefore of utmost importance. The objective of this WG will be to synthesize existing knowledge on integrated conservation planning across terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems aiming at biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of ecosystem services, and to develop methodological tools for improving this integration within the framework of ecosystem- based management.
- T4.1 Review of the literature describing land-river-sea connections including the natural flows between realms and cross-system threats, which originate in one realm and affect another.
- T4.2 Development of methods for integrated cross-ecosystems spatial plans using case studies from the European and contiguous seas. This task will examine, in selected case studies, how conservation plans on land and freshwater ecosystems can benefit marine conservation.
- T4.3 Development of methods for integrated cross-ecosystems spatial prioritization. This task will examine how prioritization of conservation actions across realms in the case studies can maximize benefits for biodiversity conservation in all ecosystems under study.
- Three workshops convening conservation scientists working on terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in all the European seas. During these workshops data, knowledge on methodological tools and experience will be exchanged among participants and tasks initiated.
- Marxan software Training School. A 2-day training course of the most popular conservation planning software Marxan will be realized. Emphasis will be given on connectivity issues that are particularly important for integrated conservation plans.
- Dissemination of the WG results will be channelled through scientific papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations in major conferences.
- Extended summaries of the most relevant reports of WG4 will be published in English and in a selected number of other European languages and disseminated, in order to support the implementation of the approaches and recommendations.
- M4.1 First workshop for the assessment of land-river-sea connections and cross-system threats (year 1).
- M4.2 Workshop for the development of methods for integrated conservation planning across realms (year 2).
- M4.3 Workshop for the development of methods for prioritization of conservation actions across terrestrial – freshwater – marine ecosystems (year 3).
- D4.1 A paper describing land-river-sea connections including land-river-sea processes, the natural flows occurring between realms, and cross-system threats with emphasis on European ecosystems.
- D4.2 A paper on cross-ecosystems spatial plans focusing on how conservation plans on land and freshwater ecosystems can benefit marine conservation using case studies in the European regional seas.
- D4.3 A paper examining how prioritization of conservation actions across realms can maximize benefits for biodiversity conservation in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems in the three study regions.