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Selection of PiP’s consolidation sites was based on four criteria:
- conservation value in the context of regional and national biodiversity priorities,
- complimentarity to other important sites (in terms of types of biodiversity, threats, current protection status, and strategies),
- feasibility in terms of cost-effectiveness and opportunity, and
- potential for leverage to other sites.
To read more about the Conservancy's process for determining conservation priorities, see Designing a Geography of Hope.
Designing a Geography of Hope
(English, Spanish, Portugese)
Identification of candidate sites began with an analysis of regional conservation priorities. PiP started with an analysis of priority ecoregions -- large geographical areas distinguished by the complement of species, ecological communities, and ecological systems present in each—focusing on ecoregions that are especially rare and threatened on a national and regional scale. The Nature Conservancy and its local partners worked with a variety of local and international conservation organizations and scientists to identify the sites that harbor the best examples of the ecoregion's biodiversity.
PiP focused on a collection of sites that captures the range of biodiversity of the ecoregion. We considered how the threats to biodiversity at each site and the strategies to address those threats fit into the range of threats that must be addressed to conserve the representative biodiversity of the ecoregion. We evaluated the current protection status (is the site legally decreed? is it a national park, or a wildlife reserve, and how do the local laws protecting these areas differ? is it privately owned? is there a strong, existing conservation effort at the site that does not need our assistance, but may offer opportunities for collaboration?), and we determined whether this type of site needs our attention in order to conserve biodiversity of the ecoregion.
The Parks in Peril Program looked for an efficient use of scarce conservation resources choosing only those sites where we could hope to have a beneficial impact. Is a strong conservation organization present at the site? Is there a current local initiative to improve the conservation of the site? Are local conservation authorities particularly interested in this site? Are the threats at the site within our capacity to address?
The conservation need is as broad as Latin America and the Caribbean, itself. For PiP to rise to the challenge of improving conservation at all imperiled sites in the region, it had to start at sites where our conservation work had the hope of affecting the broadest possible audience. Will a successful conservation effort at the site offer PiP the opportunity to affect other sites in the ecoregion or elsewhere? If we deal effectively with the major threat at this site, will we be able to apply that lesson to other sites? Can a conservation success at this site provide additional, local credibility that will attract the attention of managers at other sites and give us an opportunity to work with them?
Since financial resources to support conservation are limited, only those protected areas that rank highly in all four categories are considered for inclusion in the PiP Program.