A bolder conservation future for Indonesia by prioritising biodiversity, carbon and unique ecosystems in Sulawesi.
Pusparini W., Cahyana A., Grantham HS., Maxwell S., Soto-Navarro C., Macdonald DW.
As more ambitious protected area (PA) targets for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework are set beyond Aichi Target 11, renew thinking into spatial prioritisation is required to enable PA expansion that maximises environmental values. Our study focuses on the biodiverse and forest-rich Indonesian island of Sulawesi, which has a terrestrial PA network that covers 10% of the island. We used Marxan to investigate trade-offs in the design of an expanded PA network that prioritised different conservation features (biodiversity, forest cover, carbon stock, karst and valuable metal-rich areas) under varying island-wide coverage targets (17%, 30%, and 50%). Our first scenario, which required existing PAs to be selected, required larger areas to meet these coverage targets, in contrast to our second scenario, which allowed for any part of the island to be chosen, irrespective of PA status. The vast Mekongga and Bangkiriang Landscapes, and Gorontalo corridor were consistently identified as a high priority for protection under all scenarios. To meet our conservation targets through expanding current PAs, creating new PAs, and creating corridors that connect existing PAs, we used a spatially explicit three-phase approach. Our findings identified 26,508 km2 of priority areas to be included in the current PA network, potentially assisting Indonesia in meeting its post-2020 GBF target, if our approach is replicated across Indonesia as a national or sub-national analysis. We discuss various land management options through other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) and the costs to deliver this strategy.