ECOSYSTEM-BASED SPATIAL CONSERVATION PLANNING: A NOVEL APPROACH TO SANDY BEACH CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT
Linda Harris, Ronel Nel and David Schoeman
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University,Department of Zoology, University of the Sunshine Coast, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, Australia

 

Abstract
Sandy beaches are important coastal ecosystems, but are rarely considered in conservation initiatives, and tend to be managed piecemeal with social goals invariably taking precedence. We aim to design a conservation and management strategy that can meet both environmental and social goals, using the South African beaches as a case study. Spatial patterns were mapped in terms of habitats, biodiversity, processes, and threats using standard and novel digitizing techniques, and species distribution modelling. Most socially important (utilized) and most ecologically important beaches were identified in a cumulative threat assessment, and systematic conservation plan, respectively. These results were integrated into a single strategy: most utilized and permanently modified beaches should be prioritized for meeting social goals; most ecologically important beaches should be prioritized for conservation; and the rest can be zoned to meet both social and conservation goals. Governance could still be local scale, but would contribute to a large-scale plan supporting sustainable use of beaches.
Presentation Topic

ECOSYSTEM-BASED SPATIAL CONSERVATION PLANNING: A NOVEL APPROACH TO SANDY BEACH CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT
Contact Ms Harris:
Email Linda Harris