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Spatial Planning

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Spatial planning focuses on the use of spatial data for biodiversity and ecosystems mapping and planning. Spatial data includes a wide range of data that are stored, analysed and presented in spatial format, typically using some kind of geographic information system (GIS). 

Decision X/2 of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 10) urged parties to use revised NBSAPs as effective instruments for the integration of biodiversity targets into spatial planning processes by Government and the private sector at all levels. Policy makers depend upon spatially-explicit information in order to effectively design, implement and manage policies and plans for a wide range of environmental issues, including land management, climate change and biodiversity conservation. Spatial data and mapping can be utilised within an NBSAP to illustrate the current status of biodiversity in a region, identify national priorities and visually communicate key biodiversity issues. These data can provide baselines to track progress towards national and international targets, analyse trade-offs, measure policy impacts and consider future scenarios. 

The types of spatial planning included in an NBSAP can range from simple datasets to more complex real time mapping tools and systematic conservation planning approaches. Maps of biogeographic regions, ecosystem services, key biodiversity areas, land cover, land use and land use change, protected areas and species distributions are particularly useful in demonstrating national priorities within the NBSAP. The recommended resources and datasets will assist an NBSAP team to identify the appropriate tools and datasets that target country requirements. In learning how to transform common barriers to incorporating spatial data and mapping into NBSAPS, such as limited access to reliable data, NBSAP teams will also be better prepared to integrate it into revised NBSAPs.

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