Science for Nature and People (SNAP)
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is one of the founding members of the SNAP collaboration along with The Nature Conservancy and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. [see below for more on WCS] SNAP stands for Science for Nature and People. At the heart of SNAP are Working Groups — teams of scientists, practitioners and stakeholders that answer specific critical questions at the conservation/human interface.
Researchers with CEED together with the WCS have recently been awarded funding to investigate the land/sea connection and the impacts of land management on marine conservation. The working group is being led by Carissa Klein, Chris Brown and Hugh Possingham (all CEED people) and includes members from a number of other universities and NGOs.
Population growth and economic development along coasts around the globe are placing increasing pressure on fisheries and marine ecosystems. To date, marine conservation has focused almost exclusively on reducing overfishing — despite the harmful impacts on marine ecosystems from terrestrial activities like farming and logging.
This working group will address these information gaps, allowing conservationists to better address the impact that land-use changes have on fisheries. The group will develop a model that can predict the effects of river run-off on coral reef fisheries and assess how various management actions impact economic development, fisheries management, livelihoods and conservation.
Among other things, the research is expected to answer the following questions:
- Where are the most cost-effective priorities for management intervention, on the land and sea, to secure fisheries and livelihoods?
- Can the positive impacts of traditional fisheries management actions offset the negative impacts from land-based activities, under different climate change and socio-economic scenarios?
- What is the consequence of land- and sea-based policy change on coastal fisheries?
The Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society was founded in 1895. Its mission is to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. It also seeks to educate millions of visitors at five living institutions in New York City on important issues affecting our planet. The parks include the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.
The WCS Global Conservation Program (GCP) aims to protect 25% of the world’s biodiversity. The program oversees the conservation work of the Society in 57 countries around the world. The GCP has approximately 2,500 staff working on over 300 projects with offices in 40 of the countries in which we are active.
The Society is a science-based ‘muddy-boots NGO’ with work deeply grounded in the field, and staff focusing efforts on conservation action at the scale of land- and sea-scapes. Their conservation strategies recognize that terrestrial and marine protected areas must be integrated into the broader ecological, social and economic spaces that surround them if their biodiversity and productivity are to be sustained.
The WCS helps governments and communities to establish and manage protected areas and reserves, render them more effective, integrate them into the complex land-use matrices that surround them, and ensure the habitat connectivity that meets the ecological requirements of species of conservation concern. The organisation works with resource-extraction industries to reduce their impact on our focal landscapes and seascapes, and the species they contain. The approaches reflect that livelihood and governance issues are integral to conservation success, and that strengthening institutional capacity of those involved in delivering on conservation on the ground is integral to sustainability.
Increasingly, the WCS is a leader in influencing national conservation policy in the countries in which they work by assisting national governments with a variety of issues including park and protected area establishment and management, legislation and legislative review of laws affecting wildlife and natural resource management, training of national parks and wildlife staff, large scale infrastructure and climate change planning, and land tenure issues. The WCS is also one of the co-founders of Science for Nature and People, alongside The Nature Conservancy and NCEAS (see http://www.snap.is).
More info: http://www.wcs.org/