Strategies commonly proposed under the banner of EBA include maintaining or restoring wetlands and estuaries that help protect against flooding; maintaining AP26113 supplier coral reef systems that protect islands and coastlines from wave erosion; and protecting
or restoring forests that can reduce flood damage and erosion from more frequent and severe storms while preserving access to clean water and food (Hale and Meliane 2009). In some cases, implementing these strategies is straightforward and involves actions similar to those necessary to establish most new conservation areas, except that in this case the focus is on conserving natural ecosystems that also provide a direct benefit to human communities. EBA opportunities may represent the greatest departure from traditional BMN-673 systematic planning methods. For example, rather than planning to conserve a representative set of coral reef habitats in a region, we might choose to prioritize those reefs systems most critical for the protection of coastal human communities. To do this, we would need additional data not traditionally included in regional assessments such as the vulnerability of coastal communities to storm surges (e.g., USAID 2009) or the volume of carbon and rates of deforestation associated with implementing a REDD strategy (Venter et al. 2009). We will also likely need alternative Selleck C646 decision support tools
to communicate future climate scenarios and potential EBA solutions, such as interactive Web-based mapping applications (e.g., Ferdaña et al. 2010) (Fig. 4). Regional conservation plans can be used to identify the best places to
implement EBA strategies. Early results are promising. For example, we increasingly recognize that we can re-operate dams to both improve their benefits to people and their natural flow regimes and connectivity for nature (Richter et al. 2010). In terrestrial systems, we now understand that the intensity and frequency of fire regimes are being amplified by climate change which may require larger areas to accommodate Rutecarpine these disturbances and pro-active steps to “fireproof” local communities (Brown et al. 2004). Fig. 4 Identification of natural ecosystems (marshes) that offer a range of protection to coastal human communities in Long Island, New York, with a Web mapping tool developed as part of a Coastal Resilience project (http://coastalresilience.org/). The tool helps explore climate change risks to coast communities and highlights area where mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals overlap Assumptions The value of including emerging opportunities in systematic conservation planning rests on at least two assumptions. The first is that conservation is always challenged for resources and opportunities and looking for ways to leverage investment or get greater return on the investment.