Integrating multiple spatial datasets to assess protected areas:lessons learnt from the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA)


The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) has been developed to support the European Union’s efforts in strengthening our capacity to mobilize and use biodiversity data so that they are readily accessible to policymakers, managers, researchers and other users. Assessing protected areas for biodiversity conservation at national, regional and international scales implies that methods and tools are in place to evaluate characteristics such as the protected areas’ connectivity, their species assemblages (including the presence of threatened species), the uniqueness of their ecosystems, and the threats these areas are exposed to. Typical requirements for such analyses are data on protected areas, information on species distributions and threat status, and information on ecosystem distributions. By integrating all these global data consistently in metrics and indicators, the DOPA provides the means to allow end-users to evaluate protected areas individually but also to compare protected areas at the country and ecoregion level to, for example, identify potential priorities for further conservation research, action and funding. Since the metrics and indicators are available through web services, the DOPA further allows end-users to develop their own applications without requiring management of large databases and processing capacities. In addition to examples illustrating how the DOPA can be used as an aid to decision making, we discuss the lessons learnt in the development of this global biodiversity information system, and outline planned future developments for further supporting conservation strategies

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Engineering Systems and Supply Chain Management
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College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Sustainable environment research group
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Systems analytics research institute (SARI)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity conservation,web services,protected areas,Aichi Target 11,EU Biodiversity Strategy
Publication ISSN: 2220-9964
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2024 07:25
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2017 13:25
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-12-15
Accepted Date: 2016-11-30
Submitted Date: 2016-09-23
Authors: Dubois, Grégoire
Bastin, Lucy (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-1321-0800)
Bertzky, Bastian
Mandrici, Andrea
Conti, Michele
Saura, Santiago
Cottam, Andrew
Battistella, Luca
Martínez-López, Javier
Boni, Martino
Graziano, Mariagrazia



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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