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The Gateway is for the conservation practitioner, scientist and decision-maker. Here we share the best and most up-to-date information we use to inform our work at The Nature Conservancy.

Ecoregional Assessment Toolbox

Higgins, Jonathan; Esselman, Rebecca

The Ecoregional Assessment and Biodiversity Vision Toolbox compliments existing resources by providing updated primary guidance, tools, resources and case studies from insights gained from on-the-ground experiences and innovations.  The Toolbox is organized around the Standards for Ecoregional Assessments and Biodiversity Visions. These standards are considered key ingredients by TNC and WWF for thorough and credible ecoregional conservation assessments and biodiversity visions. The standards allow flexibility in approaches for the variety of situations that are confronted and the opportunity for innovation while retaining a minimum level of rigor in conservation planning science and consistency of information needs.

This zip file contains .pdf files for each completed chapter.  A chapter on Establishing Measures was never completed because this guidance was written at time when these ideas were still being developed.  For information on Measures visit the Measures section of the Gateway

Chapters include:

1. Assemble an ecoregion team with strong and ambitious leadership, and broad expertise in ecology,
conservation biology, data analysis and management, and socioeconomic capacity.
2. Engage key internal and external partners and stakeholders throughout the process.
3. Have work plans, content, and products peer-reviewed.
4. Make all products, methods and supporting data publicly available, in accordance with data sharing
5. Use a consistent data management framework in accordance with internal and partner organization
data standards.
6. Develop assessments/ visions within ecologically meaningful areas adopted or adapted from
existing ecoregional classifications.
7. Select terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity targets/ biodiversity elements/ features across
multiple biological and scales.
8. Develop explicit abundance and distribution goals for conservation targets/ biodiversity elements.
9. Screen all target/biodiversity element occurrences for viability or ecological integrity.
10. Conduct an analysis of the severity and geographic scope of threats to conservation
targets/biodiversity elements and their occurrences, and analyze the root causes of priority threats.11. Design ecoregional portfolios/biodiversity visions to best meet goals for all conservation
targets/biodiversity elements, using the principles of efficiency, representation, irreplaceability, and
12. Assess and report ecoregional conservation status at appropriate intervals.
13. Set overall priorities for conservation action within the ecoregional portfolio/ biodiversity vision and
define institutional roles and priorities.
14. Produce a long-term financial plan to support strategy and measures, implementation, further data
development, and analyses.