The Watershed Evaluation Tool allows watersheds to be compared for their biodiversity and ecosystem function importance, for current (2005) and future (2050) scenarios. This study combines future scenarios with land use modelling, to evaluate priorities for conservation or other actions, in order to balance demands on land for regions characterised by high biodiversity and poverty.
Land conversion and intensification of agricultural systems seem unavoidable and likely to result in loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. The tool has been applied in the Great Lakes of East and Central Africa region, as part of a MacArthur Foundation funded research project, to address the need to understand trade-offs between land uses, and to provide such analyses to stakeholders and decision makers.
The tool has two goals: first, to present a baseline to assess future impacts of development; second, to identify current and potential future priorities to inform activities of stakeholders, in relation to impacts of major commodity markets on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. It allows watersheds within a defined region to be compared for their biodiversity and ecosystem function importance, for current and future scenarios.
Marieke Sassen, Programme Officer - UNEP-WCMC
Development Practitioners, Researchers, Subnational / National Government