ESRI Conservation Program Resources:

International Groups, Global Organizations, World Regions (under construction)

(ECP and CTSP members, sites of interest for mapping/GIS, scholarly papers and ESRI Conference Proceedings, and sites with public conservation and GIS data for downloading) (Under Construction, due for completion, compartmentalization and final indexing 11-30-99)


Scholarly papers and ESRI Conference Proceedings

(Legend: ESRI User Conference Papers list the title, then in parentheses "paper" or "abstract" plus the year. Other web-located papers list title, author if known, and excerpt.)

Cumulative Effect Assessment On Alberta's Southern Eastern Slopes (by Michael Sawyer, Project Manager & Landscape Ecologist, Hayduke and Associates Ltd. Calgary Alberta. Role: Project Management; Watershed Assessment; Grizzly bear, wolves and elk cumulative effects assessment. Dave Mayhood, Aquatic Ecologist, Freshwater Research Ltd. Calgary, Alberta. Role: Watershed Assessment & Fish Dr. Paul Paquet, Wildlife Biologist, John Paul & Associates. Meecham, Sask. Role: Grizzly bear, wolves and elk cumulative effects assessment. Cliff Wallis, Botanist, Cottonwood Consultants Ltd. Calgary, Alberta. Role: Rare plant assessment. Dr. Richard Thomas, Ornithologist, Edmonton, Alberta. Role: Cumulative effects on birds & forest fragmentation. Bill Haskins, Ecologist, The Ecology Center Inc. Missoula, Mt. Role: GIS analysis.) "This Project is intended as a geographic information system (GIS) based reconnaissance level cumulative effect assessment with the intent of providing results of immediate management utility, quickly and cheaply. It quantitatively documents and analyses land-use in a 4500 km2 study area on Alberta's Southern Eastern Slopes region. The analysis is intended to be applicable to management of extractive resources, recreation, and off-road vehicle use. It is also intended to contribute in a positive and constructive manner to debate about future directions in public policy and land-use management on Alberta's Southern East Slopes."

British Columbia's Level 1 Interior Watershed Assessment Procedure as a Tool for Monitoring Potential Impacts of Development on Aquatic Ecosystems in Canada's Rocky Mountains. (by David W. Mayhood[1], Michael D. Sawyer[2] and William Haskins[3]. Paper presented to the Science and Management of Protected Areas Association (SAMPA III) Conference, Calgary, AB, 12-16 May 1997. Accepted for publication in the Proceedings. Contact; Mike Sawyer, Rocky Mountain Ecosystem Coalition, 921, 610 - 8th Avenue SW, Calgary AB Canada T2P 1G5 ph: (403)266-2468, fax: (403) 265-2467, email: ) "The British Columbia Forest Service and BC Environment recently developed standard procedures for assessing the type and extent of water-related problems induced by forestry operations in watersheds. We applied the Level 1 Interior Watershed Assessment Procedure to existing digital geographic data as a quick method to screen 90 watersheds (fourth order or higher) for potential damage to watercourses from industrial and urban development in the southern east slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. Presently 28 of these watersheds show very high potential for increased peak flows and surface erosion from these activities; another 59 show moderate potential for such damage. Only 3 of the watersheds are undeveloped and show low potential for damage. We illustrate how the procedure can be used to evaluate some potential effects of development proposals, and suggest certain changes and additions to make the procedure more widely applicable to assessing potential impacts from a variety of land uses. "


A Participatory GIS for Community Forestry User Groups in Nepal: Putting People Before the Technology (Mountain Forum: Gavin Jordan Department of Agriculture & Forestry Newton Rigg College, University of Central Lancashire Penrith, Carlisle, CA11 1OH Bhuban Shrestha People and Resource Dynamics Project International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal ) "There is an increasing interest in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in a participatory context, with this development either causing alarm or being seen as providing a potentially valuable tool. The key reasons behind this have already been given in issue 33 of PLA notes (Abbot et al., 1998). This article explores some of the benefits and concerns of using GIS as a participatory tool, using a case study to provide real-life context. It is mainly concerned with key issues that have been identified during the work."

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS AND ‘PHOTO-MAPS’ FOR COMMUNITY FORESTRY (Mountain Forum: Richard Mather, Martin de Boer, Meena Gurung and Nick Roche ) "The main purpose of the work reported is the field-evaluation of large-scale aerial photographs (1:1,250 and 1:2,500 scale) as non-literate aids for supporting participatory work by Forest User Groups (FUGs) and for participatory mapping of community forests in Nepal. Aerial photographs used in conjunction with a Geographical Information System (GIS) were also tested as a possible alternative to current chain-and-compass practices for surveying community forests."

Application of Geographical Information Systems-GIS in Characterization and Plan Management for the Nature Reserves of the Civil Society in Colombia (1997 ESRI paper: Olga Cardenas Fundacion Herencia Verde Cali Valle Columbia Organ Calle 4 Oeste #3A-32 El Panon, COLOMBIA Telephone: 57-92-8808484 Fax: 57-92-881-3257 E-mail: .Defining Issue: There exists the necessity to consolidate the efforts of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in different regions of the country through the potentialization of social and environmental services offered by the nature reserves. For this purpose it is essential to know the biotic and physical aspects as well as the social strengths and weaknesses that are involved in order to make decisions at the local, regional, and national level. GIS Solution: On the basis of the data obtained by GIS analysis, we pretend to know the existing ecosystems in order to arrange a management plan that involves not only the owners of the reserves but also the neighbors, the state, and the civil society as responsible for the sustainable management and peace factors.

ArcInfo for the Integrated Evaluation of Ecosystem Components and Resources within the Bikin River Watershed (1995 ESRI Conf. Abstract, Sergei M. Krasnopeyev, Vladimir N. Bocharnikov, Anatoly V. Vertel) The Bikin is the only large scale watershed, which is included in a list of UN World Heritage sites, that has not undergone extensive anthropogenic impact. The Middle and Upper Bikin are also part of the traditional homelands of three indigenous peoples: Udege, Nanai and Oroch. ...

Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean Using Appropriate Spatial Information Technologies . (1997 ESRI paper: Andrea Cristofani The Nature Conservancy 1815 N Lynn St Arlington, VA 22209 Telephone: 703-841-4214 Fax: 703-841-2722 E-mail: .Defining Issue: Development of spatial information technologies in international nonprofit conservation organizations can be hindered by the limited resources and technical expertise. For useful results directly applicable to our conservation priorities we must develop ways in which we can unite forces to access appropriate levels of technology.

ECONOMICS OF EIS (By Mr. Svein Tveitdal, Director GRID-Arendal, Longum Park, P.O. Box 1602 MYRENE, N-4801, Arendal, Norway. TEL: +47-370-35500 FAX: +47-370-35050 E-mail "..GIS/EIS is expected to play a key role in the development of resource management and environmental protection in developing countries in the 1990s....If GIS is introduced solely as a production tool, in most cases benefit/cost ratios of about 1:1 have been found....Higher beneficial effects (b/c 2:1) have been achieved where GIS has been also used for internal planning and administration. "

An Ecoregional Conservation Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean . (1997 ESRI paper: Roger Sayre The Nature Conservancy 1815 N Lynn St Arlington, VA 22209 Telephone: 703-841-4211 Fax: 703-841-2722 E-mail: . Two recent biodiversity priority setting initiatives undertaken by The World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have emphasized the delineation of ecoregions for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and an assignment of biodiversity importance values to these ecoregions. A total of 191 terrestrial ecoregions resulted from these two parallel initiatives. The World Bank and USAID are now using these ecoregion priority assessments to help determine project placements and conservation allocations. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has formulated a strategy for biodiversity conservation in LAC, which reorganizes these ecoregions into a set of 41 ecoregional conservation units. This simplification of the ecoregional classification hierarchy permits the design of portfolios of sites that collectively capture the representative habitat diversity throughout the region. A network of 61 protected areas in LAC (the Parks-in-Peril program, a joint TNC/USAID initiative) is assessed for its contribution to the protection of these ecoregional conservation units. A bias toward protection of tropical moist broadleaf forests is documented; other environments (xeric, subtropical coniferous) are found to be substantially under represented.

Ecotourism: Direct Road to Ruin by Dr. Olin B. Rhodes, Jr., Assistant Professor of wildlife ecology at Purdue University . Russian Conservation News Service Issue #17). "I write these words having just spent four days within Denezhkin Kamen, a Zapovednik located deep in the Ural mountains. I am fortunate to have experienced this adventure and to have worked with the Zapovednik staff over the past two years from my position as an Assistant Professor of wildlife ecology at Purdue University. Our work together has focused on the scientific aspects of the Zapovednik system, encompassing both nature protection and long-term ecological monitoring. The goal of our collaboration and that of the symposium we have just held with a subset of the Ural mountains Zapovedniks is to use modern technologies, such as GIS, to enhance the abilities of the preserve personnel to collaborate with one another, as well as with western scientists. We recognize that there are many challenges ahead for the Zapovednik system, in light of the economic and political changes that are now occurring in Russia, and our strategy is to help the preserves to survive without altering their basic mission and unique status in the global environmental scheme. Russian Zapovedniks, despite their turbu lent history, represent a rather unique opportunity for the global environmental community to invest in true preservation of natural territories and a chance for long-term ecological research to exist within the framework of large, set aside areas rather than within the matrix of a human dominated landscape."

Geographic Information Systems in Sustainable Development (by the Geographic Information Systems Group, Environment and Natural Resources Service (SDRN), FAO Research, Extension and Training Division) "Most sustainable development decisions are inherently multidisciplinary or cross-sectoral, because they require trade-offs between conflicting goals of different sectors. However, most natural resource development agencies are single-sector oriented. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can help establish cross-sectoral communication - by providing not only very powerful tools for storage and analysis of multisectoral spatial and statistical data, but also by integrating databases of different sectors in the same format, structure and map projection in the GIS system....

(IUCN Commission on Parks and Protected Areas (WCPA) & Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA), "There is a clear message from the above that investment in protected areas can provide a significant benefit to national and local economies. Far from being locked up and lost to local users, these areas represent an opportunity for sustainable industries and for the generation of financial returns. With proper management, the product on offer can be sold over and over again without diminishing its value. Unlike extractive industries, the string of returns can be maintained over a long period for the benefit of a wide range of users and stakeholders."

RUSSIAN PRESERVES THREATENED: (Greenlines News Service Issue 614, Defenders of Wildlife, Tuesday, April 28, 1998. Call (505) 277-8302 or e-mail ) "Environmental News Network reported last week scientists from Purdue University are working with Russian officials to protect 100-year-old Russian nature preserves from development. The 74 million acres of "zapovedniks" -- thought to be the only completely undeveloped inhabitable places in the world -- are unique in that since 1905, no human activity has been allowed inside them except scientific research. Purdue is working with the Russians to develop a GIS database for ecological research, but "[t]he only way we can save these preserves is to bring in western scientists and western money," said Purdue ecologist Gene Rhodes. "Without that, the Russian government will no doubt succumb to economic and social pressures and allow the preserves to be developed."

SIEZCHA: Information System for the Determination of Critical Areas of Management in the "Chingaza" Natural National Park . (1997 ESRI paper: German Bravo Cordoba Universidad de Los Andes Cra 1 Este #18-A 70 Santafe de Bogota, D. COLOMBIA Telephone: 57-1-2-81-56-80 Fax: 57-1-3-36-46-81 E-mail:, Liliana Diaz, Carolina Lastra ) . This work presents the SIEZCHA system, a tool that helps park administrators define management policies by determining critical areas based on representative variables of natural national parks. These variables represent both physical and administrative features. The Chingaza Natural National Park was chosen as a case study, and its representative variables are vegetation unit, type of property, soil use, and natural disasters.

Strategies for Effective Monitoring in Community Based Natural Resource Management A Case Study of the ADMADE Program in Zambia . (Andy Lyons Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation University of Florida September, 1999 "In this study I have attempted to analyze the monitoring system of ADMADE, in light of the above framework, as a case study of an ICDP that has experimented with ways of involving local communities in monitoring. Specifically, this research attempted to answer: Who are the stakeholders in ADMADE's monitoring system and what are their information needs? What are the goals of ADMADE's monitoring system and what strategies have been used in its design? What lessons have been learned? How rigorous is data collected in ADMADE, and what can it be used for? What factors determine the quality of data collected by village scouts, and how can data quality be measured? Where are the weak points in ADMADE's monitoring system and how can these be strengthened? Like a lot of fieldwork, this research evolved over its course as new issues were encountered and unforeseen circumstances demanded new approaches for collecting data. In particular, the primary unit of analysis was shifted away from individual village scouts to ADMADE Units and the project as a whole. This was primarily due to the fact in practice that little monitoring data is linked to individual scouts, and travel constraints made it difficult to reach a sufficient number of scouts in the field. In addition, conceptually many of the truly interesting and unique characteristics of ADMADE's monitoring program occur above the level of the scout, warranting analysis at higher levels."

Using ArcInfo to Evaluate Plan Biodiversity in Southern Siberia . (1997 ESRI paper: Roman R. Bukarev Novosibirk State University 20/2, Pirogov Street Novosibirsk, 630090 RUSSIA Telephone: 011-383-2-397885 Fax: c/o (406) 728-9432 E-mail: . The Baraba Steppe is a southern Siberian region with native physical and geographical conditions with close coexistence of grassland, forest, steppe, and wetland plant communities. Using PC ArcInfo, we developed a GIS to provide the capability to operate with large databases on southern Siberia ecosystems biodiversity. The main objectives of the GIS are to answer users' inquiries of two types: (1) evaluating a species' or a regime of species' spatial distribution within a given site (species of plants and animals, associated communities, etc.) and (2) obtaining data on the biodiversity of a given site (the species list, the list of communities within their areas, the Red Book species list, analytical maps, etc.) in order to evaluate the biodiversity of large regions to configure and designate a protected areas network. Using topo maps (1:25,000) and aerial photographs (1:14,000), the hypsometric, road, vegetation, and hydrological layers were developed. These coverages were then modified with field research surveys to include items such as plant communities and abundance. The region analyzed was subdivided and an algorithm was developed to evaluate the biodiversity indices for each site. The identified sites of greatest vegetation biodiversity can be used in designation of protected areas and be considered for human activity within Baraba.

Using ArcInfo to Identify and Promote Designation of Katun National Park, Altai Region, Russia . (1997 ESRI paper: Alexander Yumakaev Socio-Ecological Union/Altai PO 845 Barnaul, 656015 RUSSIA Telephone: 3852.22.0908 Fax: 406-728-9432 E-mail: . SEU/Altai has developed a proposal to create a national park in the Ust-Koksa region in the Altai Republic, Russia, by expanding and changing the management regime of the Katun Nature Preserve. This area, which is at the headwaters of the Katun River, was chosen for potential national park designation because of its unique natural and cultural features. Using PC ARC/INFO, SEU/Altai digitized and combined geologic, vegetative, hydrographic, and cultural layers at a scale of 1:200,000 to gain an understanding of the natural resources and the human impacts on nature in the area. This GIS information allowed us to create land use designations for the proposed park and will aid in management of the future park, as well as aid in the park designation process.

Using GIS of Climate, Vegetation at Knuckles Range Education and the Public . (1997 ESRI paper: W.M. Giragama Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research PO Box 1522 Wijerama Mawatha Colombo, WP SRI LANKA Telephone: 011-94-1-696981 Fax: 011-94-1-692423, A. Ramakrishnan ) . Defining Issue: To study the highly variable topographic, forest, and climatic conditions that prevail in this area for better ecosystem management. GIS Solution: Information on the Knuckles Range and its rugged terrain is difficult to visualize when the topographic, vegetation, and climate data are hardly available and accessible.


All text by the respective organizations/authors, January 2, 1997

Web layout & design: Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. January 2, 1996

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