TOOLS AND METHODS FOR NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING
On this page we provide a number of essential tools for protected areas managers and biologists.
UNESCO classification system
The Landcover Classfication System (LCCS)
The developers of the LCCS created a standardized, hierarchical a priori – meaning that all classes are pre-defined - classification system for all the land and near-land water-covered areas. The developers identified a collection of “independent diagnostic classifiers” that may characterize any type of land and near-land water system, and organised them in a very consistent and complete hierarchy, allowing for almost any combination of classifiers. In the first three layers of its hierarchy, the system splits into respectively vegetated/non-vegetated, terrestrial/aquatic and non-natural/(semi-)natural. This leads to a very practical primary organization of the landscape, in which one merely needs to deepen the category of focus, while the non-focus categories may remain visible but generic.
Given the number of classifiers, the total number of classes of the system has become very high, and the system generates its classes using an MS Access-based program, that generates a Boolean formula, a unique code and a name.
Generating the class with a software program is very nice; the amount of time in the Central America Ecosystem map spent on mere linguistic nomenclature issues has been considerable. A computer-generated classification which facilitates consistent nomenclature, coding and translations; a mere push on a button may even generate a nomenclature in a different language!
The idea is wonderful, but unfortunately the file never worked properly. So we ended up sticking to the UNESCO system after all.
Figure 1: The LCCS Hierarchy. The upper classes categorise the system organise the system in: vegetated or not, terrestrial or aquatic and cultivated or natural. There physiognomic and ecological classifiers allow detailed characterization of biounits based on reasonably unambiguous parameters.
United States Vegetation Committee developed US National Vegetation Classification, USNVC
The USNVC has been commonly used in the USA, in spite of the fact that to our knowledge, there is no official manual, but I found a document that approaches it: FGDS and ESA Guiding Principles for Vegetation Classification. It is an annex to another document, but I could not find which. There is a rather elaborate document as a technical background paper by Grossman et al (1998), Terrestrial Vegetations of the United States, The National Vegetation Classification System Development, Status and Applications, Volume 1. This document does not however provide the system itself. I can't find a digital copy of Volume 2, but from what I remember, it does not provide a nice systematic approach to the system as aforementioned document.
The applications if the USNVC are rather limited to NatureServe, a technical spin-off of the developer of the system, the Nature Conservancy. The system is rather focused on the USA as it has besides natural also several degrees of non-natural classes, but in principle it could be used worldwide. The LCCS however is considerably more worldwide oriented and it has the very systematic classification tool, which is applicable in both natural and non-natural ecosystems. NatureServe has made a continent-wide ecosystems map for South America, but that is based on certain data sets it could acquire free of charge and it is not consistent with this system, or anything else.
Coral Reefs Classification System
This system has been developed for Belize, but can be used pretty much
Protected Areas and Ecosystems Database
The Ecosystem and Protected Areas Monitoring Database foresees in storage of detailed tracking data, physical data registration that allow characterization of protected areas and natural and semi-natural ecosystems varying from aquatic to desert ecosystems, physiognomic and floristic characterization as well as detailed soil as well as water characterization; It contains a variety of primary thematic forms. For downloading and detailed information, go to http://www.monitoring-nature.info/monitoring.htm
There are several matadata generators online, but many of these are rather superficial. We facilitate a programme developed by the USGS and UNEP: Metalite
These are the main features:
And it is Free!
For specialistical purposes there is Corpsmet
For Central America, a simple yet very convenient management effectiveness tool developed by PROARCA is available that runs in MSAccess. Only available in Spanish. The file has been prepaired for Honduras, but with little effort it can be adapted for any country in the world.
Download PROARCA/CAPAS Management Effectiveness Evaluation Tool
Download PROARCA/CAPAS Management Effectiveness Evaluation Tool Manual
The world's oldest and most comprehensive protected areas system composition analysis programme can be found here: MICOSYS
It deals with both spacial and species information; abundance and scarcity, financial criteria, species and ecosystems and different safety levels, etc. Scientific background; programme file and manual.
PhD STUDY OPPORTUNITIES EVALUATION
It may not be totally appropriate here but I thought nevertheless important for GIS students an fabulous assessment of PhD study possibilities and work opportunities in the USA: Graduate-School.PhDs.org/education-index. Think well about what you chose, a PhD study is not researcth but a study assignment to advance your carreer.
NATURE WORLDWIDE is the official website of the World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE. It is an integrated network of web sites dealing with different topics on nature, nature conservation and natural resources management. Read here why we created Nature Worldwide. Our Methodology explains how we produced our information. Our Site Map helps you find your way in the website. We made this website out of passion for conservation. We spent our own salaries and free time to gather the information and publish it on these websites, in total valuing hundreds of thousands of dollars of professional time. Nobody pays us to do this. We simply want to contribute to conservation. If you appreciate our work, PLEASE visit our site Adopt A Ranger and see how you can make a difference for conservation most effectively: By paying one day of the salary of a ranger, you will make a difference in conserving the lives of thousands of birds, other critters and entire forests. Check our sitemap. Enjoy!
NATURE DU MONDE est le site Web officiel du World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, C'est une collection intégrée de sites web qui traitent avec des sujets différents sur nature, conservation de la nature et gestion des ressources naturelles. Lisez ici pourquoi nous avons créé Nature de Monde. Notre Methodologie explique comme nous avons produit nos renseignements. Notre Site Map vous aide trouver votre entrée dans le site web. Beaucoup de plaisir!
NATURALEZA DEL MUNDO es la página Web oficial del World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, Es una red de páginas Web tratando de temas diferentes relacionados a la naturaleza, la conservación el manejo de recursos naturales, parques nacionales y áreas protegidas. Lea aqui porqué hicimos Naturaleza del Mundo. Nuestra Methodología explica como produjimos la información. Nuestro Mapa del sitio le ayuda encontrar su información en nuestra página web. Disfrute!
NATUREZA DO MUNDO é o Web site oficial do World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, Es uma red de páginas Web tratando de temas diferentes relacionados à natureza, la conservação el manejo de recursos naturaleiss, parques nacionais y áreas protegidas. Lea aqui porqué creamos Natureza do Mundo. Nossa Methodología explica como produjimos a informação. Nosso Mapa do sitio le ayuda encontrar sua informação no web site. Desfrute!
NATUR DER GANZEN WELT ist, die offiziellen Website der World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE. Es ist ein einheitliches Netzwerk von Web Sites, über Themen wie Natur, Natur-Schutz und natürlichem Ressourcen Quellen Hege. Lesen Sie hier warum wir Natur der ganzen Welt gemacht haben. Un
NATUUR UIT ALLE STREKEN is, de officiële Website van het World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE. Het is een geïntegreerd Netwerk van websites, over Natuur, Natuurbescherming en het beheer van natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Lesen Sie hier warum wir Natuur uit alle Streken gemacht haben. Onze pagina Methode legt uit, hoe we onze informatie vergaarden. Onze Site Map helpt u op weg door onze website.
WICE is a worldwide non-government non-profit organization that contributes to the conservation of nature. While it works on a many issues related to the conservation of nature and the protection of the environment, it is particularly committed to the conservation of national parks and other protected areas.
Please read the disclaimer.