Effective Conservation Project
To ensure that the native ecosystems of Hawai'i are preserved, sustained, and where possible, restored, the HCA has proposed a goal that 90 percent of native ecosystems that existed in 2000 should be effectively managed by the year 2020.To accomplish this, first we need to answer two questions:
- Are Our Attempts at Conservation Successful?
- How Do We Know What is Effectively Managed?
The answer will be provided by:
The Conservation Status UpdateHCA’s mission requires tracking of our efforts and progress. We have agreed that indicators of ecosystem health and management should be tracked in four categories: 1) extent and quality of significant biodiversity areas, 2) protective designations afforded to areas of land and sea, 3) management status, efforts, and needs; and 4) stakeholder involvement and support. To effectively perpetuate native ecosystems, the four categories must coincide on a given area of land or waters, ie. The area must have native ecosystems and species, benefit from some enabling protective designation, be undergoing management to reduce or remove critical threats, and show evidence of stakeholder involvement and support.
For the first three categories, indicators of native ecosystem intactness, a variety of protective designations, and on-the-ground management efforts were gathered and incorporated into spatial data sets, supplemented by interviews with expert agency and NGO staff. Data gaps were be identified and new spatial layers developed for archipelagic scale, and, as a pilot, at a finer, island scale. While there are many factors that can be considered, not all lend themselves well to the multiple scales at which we work. There is also a need to be able to readily assess and depict changing management status.
The goal is to move lands and waters forward in all four categories so that these elements are all present. The result is a state-wide conservation view of Hawai'i's ecosystems, the successes, and the potential target areas in need of enhancement, where partners can pool resources for efficient action. Managers will be able to share information on what is working, what isn't, and what is needed. Ultimately, the depictions should enable us to demonstrate sequential improvements in the area and quality of the biodiversity we are mandated to manage, via increasing levels of protective designation, improved management infrastructure and capacity to reduce threats, and increasing constituencies and support for conservation and management.