Special Session: Climate change and protected areas

The latest research in the field of climate change and protected areas will be presented covering the full range of adaptation strategy development from biodiversity impact modelling and vulnerability assessments to conservation adaptation planning.

The latest in biodiversity impact modelling best practice and application to African species and ecosystems will be presented by the Africa office of the Spatial Planning for Protected Areas in Response to Climate Change (SPARC) project. SPARC is currently developing for Africa ~100 000 species distribution models, as well as vegetation change models, which protected area management can use to plan for adaptation. Lessons learnt in developing these models, as well as through the verification process, will be shared. The potential effect that these biodiversity impacts, as well as temperature change, will have on tourism demand will be discussed. The results and implications of climate-driven tourism demand models developed for South Africa's national parks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's protected areas will be presented. 

The recently developed framework for assessing the vulnerability of protected areas to climate change will be presented, including the results of its application to South Africa's national parks and selected Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife protected areas. The framework quantifies the potential impacts of climate change on a protected area’s biodiversity (species and ecosystems), as well as the indirect impact of climate change on the management effectiveness of protected areas, through the impact on tourism demand, relations with neighbouring communities, as well as the risk of infrastructure damage. The vulnerability assessment allows for the ranking of protected areas according to their vulnerability, as well as highlighting the key vulnerabilities within each protected area. These vulnerability assessments are a precursor to conservation adaptation planning which will then be discussed in more detail, covering tried and tested adaptation options from around the world.

Closed session - no external presentations will be included, but participation in the session during the Symposium is open to all. All submissions not linked to special sessions will be structured into logical groupings in the remainder of the programme. Please contact the Secretariat to be put in touch with the convener if you feel that you have a useful contribution to add to this special session.

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               | CLIMATE CHANGE

Normal payment deadline
extended to
Tues 23 October!!

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