2024 World Biodiversity Forum

2024 World Biodiversity Forum

Miguel Araújo will present a talk at the World Biodiversity Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland, in June 2024.

The talk is part of a session (MONMOD_10.4) on Species Distribution Models for Spatial Prioritisation of Biodiversity convened by Antoine Guisan and Caroline Martin, both from the University of Lausanne. The session’s presentation is as follows:

Species distribution models (SDMs) have developed tremendously during the last two decades, and are now essential tools to predict the fate of biodiversity under global changes in national/international assessments. This boom in SDM development has fostered the use of their predictions as inputs into spatial biodiversity prioritisation, to help practitioners develop resilient conservation plans. However, different types and parameterisations of SDMs and decisions at the level of predictions and prioritization can lead to vastly different predictions for the same species, and consequently very different prioritisation outcomes. More standards for SDMs are thus needed, but also more experience in using SDMs for biodiversity prioritization. Thus, much remains to be done to standardize the use of SDMs for spatial prioritization, in discussion with practitioners, to reach agreement on the different key steps and components to be included in SDMs to efficiently and more systematically support conservation. The aim of this session will be to put together a series of talks by speakers active in various aspects of SDM and spatial conservation planning, and applications in spatial biodiversity conservation, including the design of protected areas and national ecological infrastructures. It will also consider key dimensions of biodiversity changes, such as climate change, biological invasions, and other drivers of species threats.

And Miguel’s talk will dwell on:

Meeting terrestrial and marine biodiversity 2030 targets under climate change: One of the key outcomes of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) was the historical pledge to expand the world’s protected-areas coverage up to 30% of all land and sea, known as the 30-30 biodiversity targets. While some regions still require expansion of protected areas to conserve unprotected species and habitats, other territories sample reasonably well their biodiversity. For these regions, the main challenge is to expand protected areas so to ensure the long-term persistence of biodiversity in face of external threats, including climate change. Designing climate-resilient protected areas is a particular problem of spatial conservation planning whereby, in addition to the spatial dimension, the temporal dimension is also considered. We develop a protocol for spatial prioritisation to achieve the 30-30 biodiversity targets that combines species distribution modelling with a heuristic approach to identify the minimum set of areas required for species persistence, under climate change, up until the end of the century. We illustrate the framework with two governmental-backed case studies. These case studies assist conservation bodies in identifying conservation-area priorities in the mainland of Portugal and the marine coastal areas of the Azores.