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Ecoregional Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Biodiversity Conservation in Micronesia

Ecoregional Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Biodiversity Conservation in Micronesia. Bill Raynor Micronesia Program Director. US Coral Reef Task Force Meeting, Oct. 3, 2003, Saipan, CNMI. Conservation by Design. ECOREGIONAL PLANNING. MEASURES OF SUCCESS. CONSERVATION AREA PLANNING.

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Ecoregional Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Biodiversity Conservation in Micronesia

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  1. Ecoregional Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Biodiversity Conservation in Micronesia Bill Raynor Micronesia Program Director US Coral Reef Task Force Meeting, Oct. 3, 2003, Saipan, CNMI


  3. Steps of Ecoregional Planning 1. Determine the region of interest. ECOREGION 2. Define the representative ecosystems, natural communities, and selected species that should be conserved. CONSERVATION TARGETS 3. Delineate the healthiest examples of these ecosystems, communities, and species. VIABLE OCCURRENCES 4. Decide on how many examples of these ecosystems, communities, and species need to be conserved. GOALS 5. Determine the areas that capture the most and best examples of these ecosystems, communities, and species. AREAS OF BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE 6. Determine which of these areas are of highest priority to conserve. ACTION AREAS 7. Develop actions that will help to conserve many areas of biological significance. MULTI-AREA STRATEGIES

  4. Why Ecoregional Planning? • Planning at regional scales rather than specific sites allows for conservation of a full range of biodiversity • Many key threats operate at multi-site scale • Coordinated efforts can facilitate partnerships and increase strategic use of conservation resources (strategic vs. opportunistic, proactive vs. reactive)


  6. Federated States of Micronesia • An island nation in the western Pacific • An archipelago of 607 islands (271 sq. miles of land) • 2,700 sq. miles of lagoons and coral reefs spread across 1,000,000 sq. miles of ocean

  7. Background • FSM National Government received UNDP-GEF assistance to do their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) • TNC was undergoing a national/regional expansion, and needed to do Ecoregional Planning • FSM NBSAP Task Force adopted the ecoregional planning effort • State BSAP teams assisted with ecoregional planning process as experts and advisors

  8. Step 2 - CONSERVATION TARGETS Freshwater & Wetland Ecosystems Marine Ecosystems Freshwater stream Terminalia swamp forest Riparian forest Montane perched Freshwater swamp Coastal freshwater marsh High island nearshore marine (coral reefs, lagoons, sea grass, etc.) Atoll nearshore marine Atoll/Beach forest Atoll inland mangrove High island mangrove Terrestrial Ecosystems Selected Species Upland broadleaf forest Lowland broadleaf forest Montane cloud forest Fern/Sedge Savanna Limestone forest Ivory nut palm forest Clinostigma palm forest Chuuk flying fox Pohnpei short-earred owl Giant Micronesian gecko Manta ray Turtle nesting beaches Giant clams

  9. Step 3 -VIABLE OCCURRENCES • How big? • Water quality? • Intact watershed? • Resilience? • Connectivity? Upland Broadleaf Forest • How big? • How fragmented? • What % agriculture? • How many invasives? High Island Nearshore Marine

  10. FSM Data Gaps • Inshore marine systems/communities - lack of updated maps and health/viability data • Outer islands - lack presence and health/viability data • Open ocean - over all lack of data • Submerged reefs - little data on biodiversity and health/viability • Marine Species - lack updated surveys

  11. Step 4 - GOALS How much is enough?

  12. Step 5 - AREAS OF BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE • Pick places that are the most HEALTHY • Pick places that capture the MOST number of ecosystems, communities & species • Pick places RESISTANT to large scale threats such as bleaching • Pick sites that have CONNECTIVITY

  13. Step 6 - ACTION AREAS • Biological Value Number/diversity of targets Health or integrity • Urgency of threat • Feasibility • Leverage

  14. Meeting conservation goals • 100% (4 out of 4 total) of marine system targets • 100% (4 out of 4 total) of special ecological target species • 100% (3 out of 3 total) of marine target species targets • 100% (2 out of 2 total) of freshwater/aquatic species targets

  15. Step 7 - Multi-Area Strategies • Strategies must respond to key marine threats: • Overfishing- 50% of ABS sites • Coastal Erosion/Sea Level Rise - 26% • Water pollution - 16% • Destructive harvesting - 15% • Erosion and sedimentation - 12%

  16. Partnerships • FSM National Government (NBSAP Task Force, Dept. of Economic Affairs, NORMA) • Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap, and Chuuk States • NGOs - CSP, KCSO, GATA,YESC • College Of Micronesia - FSM • UNDP-GEF • Regional Universities (UoG, UH) • US Federal Programs (DOI, USFS, USDA-NRCS, NOAA) • The Nature Conservancy

  17. Other Linkages • Micronesia Conservation Trust - “location in an ABS site” as grant criteria • Micronesia Leaders in Island Conservation - focus on leaders and organizations working at ABS sites • Compact Environment Sector - provide funding for recurrent activities (e.g., protected areas management/enforcement) focussed in ABS sites

  18. Benefits of Linking ERP to NBSAP • Government and community ownership of ecoregional plan (shared “map of success”) • Focus all stakeholders on priority sites, species, and long-term biological viability • Build partnerships to deal with multi-site threats • Increased strategic use of limited conservation resources • High visibility to potential donors

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