Spatial intelligence

IIS’s main product in this space is the “plangea”, a multi-criteria optimization algorithm that identifies priority areas for restoring natural landscapes and covers all converted natural areas and major types of ecosystems.

This novel tool has been used to map priority areas for restoration in the Atlantic Forest, a highly fragmented and degraded Brazilian biome that has lost 85% of its original extent. The “plangea” has also been used to plan restoration efforts in the five largest types of native vegetation on a global scale, using three criteria:
(i) maximize benefits for biodiversity conservation by increasing available habitat areas for wildlife;
(ii) maximize the benefits for climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration projections from native vegetation recovery, and
(iii) minimize potential conflicts with agriculture by seeking areas with lower value from current agricultural production.

Scenarios with regional (countries) and local (planning units) constraints can be included in the algorithm, allowing different levels of optimization and therefore informing policies in different spheres and / or with different actors.

The arbitrary task of comparing across criteria (number of extinctions avoided, tons of carbon sequestered, costs linked to possible losses of agricultural production) is explored in its solution space, and allows the identification of synthesis solutions that maximize combined benefits while minimizing costs.

Mitigating conflict with production is particularly important, where scenarios for saving land and zero production loss are explored within the current technical limits of reducing agricultural productivity deficits.

Other relevant spatial variables to identify priority areas for restoration are being developed, including: restoration implementation costs, jobs generated by restoration, increased income and reduced inequality; areas of major importance for aquifer recharge, areas of major importance for erosion control, areas of major importance for evapotranspiration cycles; climate change impacts on restoration and opportunity costs; and impacts of economic growth on opportunity costs.

Related Partners (9)

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Federal Republic of Germany Banco Mundial Ministério do Meio Ambiente - Governo Federal (MMA) Secretaria do Meio Ambiente do Estado de São Paulo - SMA/SP UNEP/WCMC Global Environment Fund Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative Convention on Biological Diversity