Biodiversity is changing and protected areas are among our best tools to ensure the safeguarding of threatened species and key ecosystem services alike. The new EU Biodiversity strategy set out several key policy targets, including an expansion of the European protected area network for 30% of land and oceans, of which 10% are to be strictly protected. Thus, the question arises where such areas should be placed so that key species populations are preserved and benefits from ecosystem services maximized, while also minimizing conflicts with important economic sectors and ensuring resilience to future changes. Often only restoration of degraded or abandoned land might be a viable option due to the extensive modification of European landscapes. Systematic conservation planning (SCP) approaches are the most widely used framework to integrate quantitative and qualitative data for better decision support about the implications of future actions. A number of recent studies have showcased how SCP can determine areas that bring the greatest value for biodiversity and ecosystem services (O’Connor et al. 2021, Jung et al. 2021), while others have highlighted the potential of widespread ecosystem restoration (Strassburg et al. 2021). Similarly the increasingly worsening climate crisis requires that SCP approaches specifically account for anticipated refugia and range shifts of species (Stralberg et al. 2020), while also integrating stakeholder and practitioners visions and knowledge to increase management effectiveness and acceptance (Lees et al. 2021). These developments highlight the potential but also the urgency of well-designed planning frameworks for policy advice.
In this session we aim to bring together leading experts on systematic conservation and restoration planning to showcase best practice examples of systematic planning in Europe. We welcome all terrestrial, freshwater and marine submissions as well approaches that focus on conservation and/or restoration.
Jung, M., Arnell, A., De Lamo, X., García-Rangel, S., Lewis, M., Mark, J., ... & Visconti, P. (2021). Areas of global importance for conserving terrestrial biodiversity, carbon and water. Nature ecology & evolution, 1-11.
Lees, C. M., Rutschmann, A., Santure, A. W., & Beggs, J. R. (2021). Science-based, stakeholder-inclusive and participatory conservation planning helps reverse the decline of threatened species. Biological Conservation, 260, 109194.
Stralberg, D., Carroll, C., & Nielsen, S. E. (2020). Toward a climate‐informed North American protected areas network: Incorporating climate‐change refugia and corridors in conservation planning. Conservation Letters, 13(4), e12712.
Strassburg, B. B., Iribarrem, A., Beyer, H. L., Cordeiro, C. L., Crouzeilles, R., Jakovac, C. C., ... & Visconti, P. (2020). Global priority areas for ecosystem restoration. Nature, 586(7831), 724-729.
O’Connor, L. M., Pollock, L. J., Renaud, J., Verhagen, W., Verburg, P. H., Lavorel, S., ... & Thuiller, W. (2021). Balancing conservation priorities for nature and for people in Europe. Science, 372(6544), 856-860.
The regionalization of adaptive amphibian responses to climate change: lessons for conservation management in Iberian Peninsula
- Diogo Alagador (Biodiversity Chair, MED: Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment & Development, University Évora, Portugal)
Spatial prioritisation of threat management for biodiversity conservation across the Natura 2000 network
- Virgilio Hermoso (University F Sevilla, Spain)
European conservation and restoration options under future land-use scenarios
- Martin Jung (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria)
Data uncertainties in spatial conservation plans: which ones are important?
- Heini Kujala (Finnish Museum of Natural History, Finland)
Conservation planning for species and nature's contributions to people
- Louise O'Connor (Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine - CNRS, France)
Conservation planning across freshwater and terrestrial realms: Challenges and opportunities for science & management to tackle the biodiversity crisis
- Rafaela Schinegger (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)
Conservation planning in a context of land use change and multiple sustainability targets
- Peter Verburg (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands / Swiss Federal Institute WSL, Switzerland, Netherlands)
NaturaConnect - Designing a resilient and coherent Trans-European Network for Nature and People
- Piero Visconti (International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Austria)