Roadless area initiative

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This is Nuria Selva's presentation during the special wilderness research seminar during the 3rd European Conference on Conservation Biology (Glasgow, August 2012). Nuria uses the roadless area initiative to try locating (potential) wilderness areas in Europe.

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Roadless area initiative

  1. 1. Roadless Areas: a potential tool to define European Wilderness AreasNuria Selva, Stefan Kreft, Vassiliki Kati, Bengt-Gunnar Jonsson, Pierre L. Ibisch Policy Committee- SCB Europe SectionInstitute of Nature Conservation (Poland), Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management, Eberswalde(Germany), University of Ioannina (Greece), Dpt of Natural Sciences, Engineering & Mathematics (Sweden)
  2. 2. “The tragic paradox of the whiteman’s encroachment. The deeperhe went into Africa, the faster lifeflowed out of it, off the plains, andout of bush and into the cities”Peter Beard “The end of the game” 1965
  3. 3. Initiatives at the policy level - 2009 Ecosystem services Conservation value Climate change Sustainable use
  4. 4. Wilderness definitionUncultivated Natural areasUninhabited No noiseUndisturbed No light pollutionEmpty Abundant wildlifePathless DiverseRemoteAbandonedUnsettled
  5. 5. Wilderness ActRoadless Areas Conservation Rule
  6. 6. A wilderness is an area of undeveloped Federal land retainingits primeval character and influence, without permanentimprovements or human habitation, which is protected andmanaged so as to preserve its natural conditions and which1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of mans work substantially unnoticeable;2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation;3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.
  7. 7. What is Wilderness? o Not (significantly) modified by human activities o Natural habitat o Large enough o Ecosystem servicesRoadless and low-traffic areas
  8. 8. Roadless Areas Initiative-Policy Committee SCB-ES
  9. 9. Roadless Areas – biodiversity conservation• Preservation of native biodiversity• Barrier against invasive species• Preservation of genetic resources• Maintenance of ecosystem connectivity and integrity• Ensure habitat for viability of populations• Provide migration corridors and stopovers
  10. 10. Roadless Areas – ecosystem services • Water regulation and supply • Erosion control • Air quality • Climate regulation • Disease control (e.g. Lyme disease) • Pollination of crops • High resilience to pest outbreak •Recreation
  11. 11. Roadless Areas – climate change• High resilience and buffering capacity• Protection against catastrophic events(e.g. fires, landslides, floods)• Carbon sequestration and decrease ofgreenhouse gases effects
  12. 12. Roadless Areas Initiative- Rio+20 Conference http://earthengine.google.orgthis proof-of-concept global map displays in a green-gradientall areas of land that are more than one (or 10) kilometer fromthe nearest road, rail or navigable waterway.
  13. 13. Mapping Global Roadless Areas
  14. 14. Global Roadless Areas- 10 km buffer http://earthengine.google.org
  15. 15. Global Roadless Areas- 1 km buffer http://earthengine.google.org
  16. 16. Global Roadless Areas- 1 km buffer http://earthengine.google.org
  17. 17. Global Roadless Areas- 1 km buffer http://earthengine.google.org
  18. 18. Roadless areas in the Polish Carpathians
  19. 19. Roadless areas in the Polish Carpathians
  20. 20. ConclusionsRoadless and low-traffic areas are a proxy for relativelyundisturbed areasRoadlessness is an essential component of wildernessCriteria and thresholds being developedWhich size? Which habitat?Which roads and traffic? Which ecoregion?Which shape?
  21. 21. THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION!

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