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Case Studies: Biodiversity, Hydrological Processes and Ecosystem Services

Waterfall in Guyana.  Photo by John MartinIntegrating hydrological processes into conservation planning at the landscape scale requires the close collaboration of both biodiversity conservation and hydrological expertise. Reflecting the growing international awareness of the importance and urgency of conserving freshwater biodiversity and hydrological processes, CI is leading a collaborative learning initiative to bring together conservation partners and centers of freshwater expertise, including The Nature Conservancy, the African Wildlife Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the World Wildlife Fund, Wetlands International, IUCN Freshwater Program and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

As the first major step in this collaborative learning initiative, a workshop was held April 21-25, 2006, in the Pantanal in Brazil. This workshop, funded in part by USAID’s Global Conservation Program, focused on defining targets for maintaining hydrological processes for biodiversity persistence and identifying key threats to those processes to support the development of freshwater programs at various scales.

The second phase of this learning initiative focused on identifying and analyzing the range of socio-economic, cultural and political pressures on the hydrological system; and the integration of these concerns with the biodiversity targets in development of a strategy for conservation action. A second workshop (also funded in part by USAID) was held in Chilika, India, March 12-15, 2007, and co-hosted by Wetlands International South Asia and the Chilika Lake Development Authority. A summary report from both workshops can be found here.

Three CI corridors participated as case studies by testing and incorporating these approaches in the development of their corridor planning strategies: Milne Bay Terrestrial Corridor - Papua New Guinea, Mamberamo Biodiversity Corridor - Indonesia (see page 38 of linked document), and the Pantanal - Brazil (see page 27 of linked document).

The following projects were also funded through this initiative and provide further analysis of biodiversity, hydrological processes and ecosystem services through specific case studies:

1. Underscoring the critical relevance of hydrological processes in defining the bounds of management in the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, Philippines

Technical leads: Grace Ambal (, Oliver Coroza (

2.  Large-scale conservation planning for resilience to climate change, threats to wetlands and freshwater supplies and ecosystem services - Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, Southern Africa
Technical lead: Leo Braack (

Biodiversity conservation of Manipur-Chindwin corridor integrating hydrological processes and ecosystem services, India Collaboration with Wetlands International-South Asia
Technical lead: Ritesh Kumar (

Evaluating impacts of proposed hydroelectric dams on local communities and biodiversity in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia
Technical lead: David Emmett (

Pilot project of PES for water services in China: Case of Yujiashan
Technical lead: HeYi (

Developing a catchment-based approach to identifying, evaluating and mapping ecosystem services for conservation and development planning: Case studies in the Australian Wet Tropics and Mullins Harbor, PNG in collaboration with the Commonwealth for Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)
Technical lead: James Butler (

© 2014 Conservation International
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