The role of ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ in achieving Aichi Target 11: October 2017 interim blog entry

31 Oct 2017

Aichi Target 11 has committed world governments to conserving, by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland waters. To meet this target, areas outside of the formal protection network, or ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECMs) will be needed. OECMs include approaches such as locally managed marine areas and indigenous reserves. As maps of OECMS are not readily available, this project, involving BirdLife International, UNEP-WCMC, RSPB, IUCN, the University of Cambridge Departments of Geography and Zoology, and the Natural Justice & IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Task Force on Other Effective Area-based Mechanisms, will harness local knowledge from national conservation organisations to assess the current role of OECMs in conserving key biodiversity areas. This will identify a network of ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity’ which are not currently formally protected. We will also assess the potential for different types of OECMs to fill gaps in protected area coverage and conservation management. The project’s results will feed into guidance that is being developed for governments.

For further information, please visit the project page on the CCI website.

The following blog is written by Dr Paul Donald, Global Science Coordinator (IBAs and KBAs), BirdLife International (Project Team Lead).

October 2017 interim blog entry

Our project is progressing well and is on schedule, with data currently being received and compiled.

By the end of October 2017, completed data sheets have been received from 7 of the 10 project partners. As a result, we now have data on potential OECMs in Australia, Kenya, South Africa, Ecudaor, Bolivia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Completed data forms are expected to be received soon from Canada, Kazakhstan and India.

Preliminary analysis of the data received to date, which include data from over 500 KBAs, suggest that a very high proportion of them contain one or more management systems that might qualify as an OECM. These data have been shared with the IUCN Task Force on OECMs and will be used to test the draft guidelines produced and circulated in October 2017.

Work has started on processing the data received to guide the satellite imagery analysis component of the project. Because the 7 datasets returned so far suggest that the great majority of KBAs have some form of OECM-type management within them, the planned comparison of land cover change in KBAs with and without OECMs may need to be re-thought, since the sample size of KIBAs with no such systems in place may be too small (an interesting finding in itself). However, we have developed a number of alternative analyses around comparing land cover classes across different types of management system.

These results will be fed into the final OECM definition process and will be written up for publication in the peer-reviewed literature. The draft guidelines on OECMs, produced by the Task Force in October 2017, have been sent to all project partners for their feedback, so as to capture their experience from the project.

Once the final results are in, the collaborative working will really begin; the dataset will be circulated among project partners and a meeting will be held to discuss the results and the possible analyses that the satellite imagery component could undertake. As a result of their engagement in the project, BirdLife South Africa has joined the IUCN Task Force on OECMs and is taking an active role in developing and commenting on the draft guidelines.  The next phase of the project will aim to produce the projects main outputs.