Forecasting conservation impact to pinpoint spatial priorities in the Brazilian Cerrado

Brum, Fernanda T., Pressey, Robert L., Bini, Luis Mauricio, and Loyola, Rafael (2019) Forecasting conservation impact to pinpoint spatial priorities in the Brazilian Cerrado. Biological Conservation, 240. 108283.

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Proper assessing the impacts of conservation interventions can create interaction spaces between researcher and implementation. For example, protected areas (PM) are the main strategy to conserve biodiversity, but there is a widespread bias in their location towards unproductive and inaccessible lands. Thus, investments on PM are likely to have been allocated to areas that did not need protection, at least in the short term, creating communication noise to the society. Here, we estimate the likely conservation impact of the recently established (2002-2012) PM and indigenous lands (ILs) in a future scenario of land use projected to 2050. We selected areas that were similar to the PAs/ILs with positive conservation impact to propose spatial priorities aiming to minimize loss of Cerrado vegetation in the future. In our analyses, PM in general and those of strict protection had significantly lower conversion rates than control areas, while sustainable use PM and ILs showed no difference between control and protected areas. We did not find differences in impact values between PAs and ILs, but impact values were higher for strict protection than for sustainable use areas. We found a high density of potential priority areas to maximize impact in northern Cerrado. This region is the next agricultural frontier in the biome, having extensive vegetation cover that can be legally converted according to national legislation. By pinpointing conservation priorities based on impact, we can improve the benefit from land protection and increase the space of interactions between science, policymaking and society at large.

Item ID: 61299
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0006-3207
Keywords: Counterfactual thinking, Conservation policy, Land-use model, Matching, Protected area effectiveness, Research-implementation spaces, Vegetation loss
Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Funders: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: CNPq #152172/2016-5, CNPq #381106/2017-9, CNPq #88882.306081/2018-1, CNPq #306694/2018-2, CNPq #304314/2014-5
Date Deposited: 01 Jan 2020 07:35
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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