ECoMAP Modelling Ecological state and Condition Maps to support knowledge-based decision-making in Area management and spatial Planning

Project Description

We keep losing biodiversity!

The stark realities of the global climate and biodiversity crisis pose imminent global threats to biodiversity, ecosystems, and human lives and livelihoods. It is well established that land-use and land-use changes are major threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services. Science has developed a comprehensive scientific consensus knowledge-base on climate and environment, and we have reached important political consensus on environmental policy goals. Still, climate and environmental concerns more often than not are trumped by other societal interests, and thus the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems is still accelerating.

So, why are we failing to implement environmental policy goals effectively?

The mere existence of the data and knowledge is not enough, it must also be available. More specifically, data and knowledge must be available in formats and at spatial scales that are  relevant to the local decision-makers holding the key to land-use transformation. However, the available ecological data often is spatially scattered and managers struggle to connect it to their local contexts. In addition, basic ecological information may be intangible for the systems and rules managers have to relate to and navigate. In both situations, existing environmental knowledge likely ends up being ignored, as it relates poorly to local cases and the decision-making processes.

 What are we going to do about this?

ECoMAP’s vision is to counter these challenges by

  1. collaborating with local and regional decision-makers to identify mismatches between available and sought-after information
  2. deriving ecological variables from existing raw ecological data that are of relevance for decision-making processes
  3. using modelling approaches to fill the gaps in spatial coverage of ecological information
  4. making the ecological information resulting from a-c) available as map-layers in the portal for ecological base maps at the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre

In order to achieve this, ECoMAP will capitalize on (i) improved understanding of the characteristics, variables and indicators of ecological condition, (ii) rapid growth in biodiversity data, remote sensing, and open science, as well as (iii) advances in ecoinformatics and modelling tools.

ECoMAP workflow