From Principles to Practice: A Spatial Approach to Systematic Conservation Planning in the Deep Sea

Proceedings of the Royal Society B | Biological Sciences, published 06 November 2013

By L. M. Wedding, A. M. Friedlander, J. N. Kittinger, L. Watling, S. D. Gaines, M. Bennett, S. M. Hardy, and C. R. Smith

“Increases in the demand and price for industrial metals, combined with advances in technological capabilities have now made deep-sea mining more feasible and economically viable. In order to balance economic interests with the conservation of abyssal plain ecosystems, it is becoming increasingly important to develop a systematic approach to spatial management and zoning of the deep sea. Here, we describe an expert-driven systematic conservation planning process applied to inform science-based recommendations to the International Seabed Authority for a system of deep-sea marine protected areas (MPAs) to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem function in an abyssal Pacific region targeted for nodule mining (e.g. the Clarion–Clipperton fracture zone, CCZ). Our use of geospatial analysis and expert opinion in forming the recommendations allowed us to stratify the proposed network by biophysical gradients, maximize the number of biologically unique seamounts within each subregion, and minimize socioeconomic impacts.

Map of the three proposed MPA design scenarios submitted to the International Seabed Authority. (a) Closely resembles the distribution of ‘Areas of Particular Environmental Interest’ provisionally adopted by the ISA in 2013 as areas in which mining claims are precluded.

Map of the three proposed MPA design scenarios submitted to the International Seabed Authority. (a) Closely resembles the distribution of ‘Areas of Particular Environmental Interest’ provisionally adopted by the ISA in 2013 as areas in which mining claims are precluded (see http://www.isa.org.jm/files/images/maps/CCZ-Sep2012-Official.jpg).

“The resulting proposal for an MPA network (nine replicate 400 × 400 km MPAs) covers 24% (1 440 000 km2) of the total CCZ planning region and serves as example of swift and pre-emptive conservation planning across an unprecedented area in the deep sea. As pressure from resource extraction increases in the future, the scientific guiding principles outlined in this research can serve as a basis for collaborative international approaches to ocean management.”

Call for Papers: Transactions in GIS Special Issue

GIScience Research Track
Esri International User Conference
14-18 July, 2014
San Diego, California

Call for Papers, Transactions in GIS special issue

GI Science researchers are invited to present original manuscripts for a peer-reviewed journal and presentation in the GIScience Research Track of the 2014 Esri International User Conference.

Papers in this special track must focus on cutting-edge research in GIScience and need not be Esri software related. Full papers will be included in a special issue of the journal Transactions in GIS to be distributed at the 2014 Conference. Abstracts (500 words) must be submitted to Dr. John Wilson, University of Southern California, by 15th December, 2013.

The Transactions in GIS editorial team will review abstracts based on their GIScience content and select a maximum of nine abstracts to become full papers. Notice of acceptance will occur by end of December, 2013. Full papers (maximum 6,000 words plus figures, tables, and references in appropriate format for publication) must be submitted to Dr. Wilson for independent review by 15th February, 2014. Reviewed papers will be returned to authors by 15th March, 2014 and final manuscripts must be returned by 8th April, 2014, to be included in the special issue of Transactions in GIS.

A listing of the 2013 accepted papers can be found at the journal website:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tgis.2013.17.issue-3/issuetoc

For questions or guidelines on this GIScience Research Track, please contact Michael Gould at mgould@esri.com.

Abstracts should be submitted via email with a subject line “Esri GIScience Abstract, Authors Last Name” no later than 15th December, 2013 to:

Dr. John Wilson, jpwilson@college.usc.edu