Networks of protected areas are important for conservation of biodiversity in a changing world. International agreements for conservation of biodiversity need to be updated and adjusted to cope with climate change and land use. The SPEAR project has three major goals. First, we will use regional plans to evaluate protected areas to find the most important sites and also the gaps. Second, we will better methods of site management to help species adapt to the effects of climate change. Better management will help to continue harvest of species that are important for hunting. Last, we will evaluate gains in biodiversity from conservation actions to improve ecosystem services from wetlands with different types of management. Our analyses will based on big datasets for landbirds, waterbirds, and seabirds in Europe. We will determine conservation priorities and provide new suggestions to meet international targets for conservation of land and seas (30% by 2030). We will evaluate the potential costs of different management plans for protected areas and management of harvested species of waterbirds. We will investigate biodiversity responses to management of natural and created wetlands, and with programs that establish new sites across the landscape. Results from the SPEAR project will provide new knowledge needed for international conservation agreements (UN post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, EU Global Biodiversity Strategy) and treaties (Convention on Migratory Species, AEWA). Our team of researchers and stakeholders will collaborate to ensure sharing of knowledge, excellent science, good collaborations, and fast circulation of results to meet the changing needs for conservation.
International frameworks for biodiversity conservation highlight the importance of adapting current conservation strategies to create an integrated network of protected areas (PAs) that will be resilient for protecting biodiversity under different scenarios of climate and land-use change. SPEAR will provide new knowledge on: i) use of large-scale spatial planning to identify priority areas and gaps in networks of PAs and improve their resilience to future threats, ii) adapting PA management to facilitate responses to climate change, including sustainable harvest of quarry species, and iii) how to upscale biodiversity gains from local conservation interventions to maximize multifunctionality of ecosystem services from wetlands under different governance. We will use the most comprehensive pan-European datasets on landbirds, waterbirds, and seabirds to address these three key topics. Specifically, we will carry out a conservation prioritisation exercise to highlight gaps in the international network of PAs and provide suggestions to meet targets for 30% at land and sea for current and future threats and pressures. We will also assess the cost-effectiveness of implementing management plans for climate change adaptation in PAs, and ensure sustainable harvest of hunted species of waterbirds. We will investigate biodiversity responses to management in natural and created wetlands, including the potential benefits of wetland conservation interventions at a landscape scale. SPEAR activities are relevant to targets of multiple international conservation agreements (UN post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, EU Global Biodiversity Strategy) and treaties (Convention on Migratory Species, AEWA). SPEAR will contribute to guiding the implementation of these and their Strategic Plans. Our consortium will ensure effective knowledge transfer, excellence in scientific outcomes, productive stakeholder engagement and rapid dissemination to ensure implementation of SPEAR's results.
MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling