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Research advances and gaps in marine planning: towards a global database in systematic conservation planning


Alvarez-Romero, JG and Mills, M and Adams, VM and Gurney, GG and Pressey, RL and Weeks, R and Ban, NC and Cheok, J and Davies, TE and Day, JC and Hamel, MA and Leslie, HM and Magris, RA and Storlie, CJ, Research advances and gaps in marine planning: towards a global database in systematic conservation planning, Biological Conservation, 227 pp. 369-382. ISSN 0006-3207 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.06.027


Systematic conservation planning (SCP) has increasingly been used to prioritize conservation actions, including the design of new protected areas to achieve conservation objectives. Over the last 10 years, the number of marine SCP studies has increased exponentially, yet there is no structured or reliable way to find information on methods, trends, and progress. The rapid growth in methods and marine applications warrants an updated analysis of the literature, as well as reflection on the need for continuous and systematic documentation of SCP exercises in general. To address these gaps, we developed a database to document SCP exercises and populated it with 155 marine SCP exercises found in the primary literature. Based on our review, we provide an update on global advances and trends in marine SCP literature. We found accelerating growth in the number of studies over the past decade, with increasing consideration of socioeconomic variables, land-sea planning, and ecological connectivity. While several studies aimed to inform conservation decisions, we found little evidence of input from practitioners. There are important gaps in geographic coverage and little correspondence with areas most threatened. Five countries lead most studies, but their networks suggest potential for capacity building through collaborations. The varying quality and detail in documentation of studies confirmed the limited opportunities to develop and assess the application of best practice in conservation planning. A global database to track the development, implementation, and impact of SCP applications can thus provide numerous benefits. Our database constitutes an important step towards the development of a centralized repository of information on planning exercises and can serve several roles to advance SCP theory and practice: it facilitates assessing geographic coverage and gaps; scientists and practitioners can access information to identify trends in the use of data, methods, and tools; reviewers and editors of journals can assess whether studies have covered important literature and developments; donors and non-government organizations can identify regions needing further work; and practitioners and policy-makers can learn from previous plans.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aichi biodiversity targets, integrated land-sea planning, marine conservation planning, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, systematic conservation planning
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Adams, VM (Associate Professor Vanessa Adams)
ID Code:128263
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:39
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-09-12
Last Modified:2019-03-15

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