Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization R D Smith and E Maltby. (2003) 'Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key issues and case studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK x + 118pp.
Project Title Ecological corridors in environmental management, Brazil
Date of Publication
Project Status Ongoing
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Regions Central and Eastern Europe
Funding Source
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement In order to avoid the deleterious effects of species and ecosystems isolation, the concept of ecological corridors was introduced as an attempt to augment the connectivity between fragmented areas. The corridors were designed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems within the Itenez-Bolivia/Guaporé-Brasil area, while respecting the rights of the local populations.
Project Description One of the most important causes of biodiversity loss is habitat fragmentation. In fragmented ecosystems the rate of extinction is higher compared with species within non- fragmented ecosystems. A large river basin region in Bolivia and Brazil, which contains indigenous reserves and large natural protected areas, is the testing ground for a project that will study, identify and implement connected areas. The corridors were located along the roads BR-421 and BR-429 and on the left bank of Guaporé –Itenez River in Brazil, and in the Baures-Itenez area in Bolivia. Implementation of this project requires:(1)a full diagnosis of the status of the existing conservation units; (2)the design of connected areas or corridors;(3)the design of a programme on information-exchange between managers, directors and warden staff of protected areas; (4)identification of strategic points for conservation and management actions;(5)involvement of the local population through capacity building and environmental education;(6)harmonisation of public policies with the goals of sustainable development;(7)provision of technical, economic and scientific support to the local communities and other productive sectors;(8)the launch of pilot projects for natural resource management; and (9)identification of alternative tourism within the protected areas.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach • The three objectives of the CBD are simultaneously addressed in this case study. • The diagnosis phase of the project illustrated the need for a better understanding of ecosystem processes and functions. •Goods and services were not identified in the project, but equitable sharing was addressed in relation to the benefits that should materialise when the project is implemented. • Adaptive management is neither illustrated nor addressed in the case study. • The most appropriate scale depended on the issue being addressed. • Linkages between sectoral groups were established through the creation of various committees involving different governmental and non-governmental institutions.
Conclusions The Ecosystem Approach is an effective basis for planning ecological corridors.
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Forestry
Biomes Forest Biodiversity
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
- Workshop based methods 3-High
Education and Awareness 3-High
- Communication 3-High
Governance, Law and Policy 3-High
- Policy development, planning and reform 3-High
Management and Incentives 3-High
- Practical management techniques 3-High
Protected Areas and Land Use Policy 3-High
- Protected/managed areas 3-High
Cross-sectoral Research and Working 3-High
Indicators 3-High
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
Tourism and Biodiversity 3-High
Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices - Article 8(j) 3-High
Transboundary Conservation 3-High
6. Ecosystem Approach
Principles and Operational Guidance   Relevance
(Only if NOT relevant)
Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices 3-High
Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level 3-High
Principle 3: Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems 3-High
Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context 3-High
Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach 3-High
Principle 6: Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functioning 3-High
Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales 3-High
Principle 8: Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term 3-High
Principle 9: Management must recognize the change is inevitable 3-High
Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity 3-High
Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices 3-High
Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines 3-High
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned
Other Information
8. References
References Smith, R.D. & Maltby, E. (2003) Using the Ecosystem Approach to implement the Convention on Biodiversity: key issues and case studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridg, UK. x + 118pp.
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms. Diana Mortimer
Job Title Ecosystem Approach Officer
Organization Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Address Monkstone House, City Road,
Postal Code PE13 4LA
City Peterborough
ZIP/State/Province Cambs
Telephone +44 1733 866857
Fax +44 1733 555948
E-mail Address

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  • United Nations Environment Programme