Watershed scale conservation planning across Amazonia

Teles Vinhas Santos, Davi (2016) Watershed scale conservation planning across Amazonia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Amazonia is a megadiverse tropical forest biome of continental dimensions.
Although still largely intact, the biome is highly threatened and future
infrastructure projects associated with the low governance in Amazonian
countries suggest a bleak scenario for the region in years to come. Biodiversity
conservation in Amazonia has focused on creating a robust protected area (PA)
network to face human-related threats. At present, some 34 % of the hydrologic
domain of the entire Amazon Basin is under some category of protection.
However, total acreage may not be the best way to assess levels of protection
against anthropogenic pressures. This thesis considers the vulnerability to
anthropogenic threats and the distribution of PAs throughout Amazonia at the
scale of major watersheds. Watersheds are presented not just as a scale of
analysis but also as a viable option for conservation planning units across
Amazonia. Analysis of 23 major watersheds indicated that high-vulnerability are
widespread all over Amazonia. However, the most threatened areas are located
in the southeastern and western portions of the biome and there is clear
evidence of a mismatch between PAs and high vulnerability areas. This
imbalance in the allocation of conservation investments within the biome leads
to either under-protection or over-protection, creating redundancy in setting
aside similar habitats, thereby misusing scarce available resources. In addition,
the systematic PA avoidance of high vulnerability areas is a strategy that is both
deceptive and risky, because the future prospects of biodiversity conservation
performance of existing hinterland reserves are less than sanguine once they
eventually confront severe threats from advancing development frontiers.
Creating PAs far from high pressure areas is a reasonable strategy to meet
global conservation goals, but often merely serve to justify political objectives
with questionable impacts on biodiversity protection.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2017 01:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/61722
DOI:

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