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Science-based land conservation prioritization framework: an overview
Proceedings of the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2019 Authors: Samiappan S., Linhoss A., Evans K., Roberts J., Liu J., Shamaskin A.
The overwhelming consensus among the conservation experts is the immediate requirement for an efficient data-driven science-based geospatial conservation prioritization tool that can help guide or optimize the dollars spent on land conservation. In this work, we propose a framework for conservation prioritization that enables integration of 1) openly available peer-reviewed data from federal and state agencies, 2) the priorities and values identified in local and regional plans with those identified by stakeholders representing local and regional agencies and organizations. The framework developed as part of this work is implemented as a web geospatial tool. In this work, a multi-criteria decision analysis method is adapted for a conservation decision support problem. The tool was developed and tested with five conservation goals proposed by Gulf of Mexico Restore Council were used as a framework for grouping the identified conservation plans and projects. The goals are 1. Restore and Conserve Habitat, 2 Restore Water Quality, 3. Replenish and Protect Living and Marine Resources, Enhance Community Resilience, and Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy. A series of five charrettes were conducted with stakeholders in the coastal states to validate the developed tool and get feedback. The goal of this project is to develop science-based land conservation planning tools that can help the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council members to identify and evaluate potential land conservation projects and strategies.