Strategy and Opportunity Mapping

Purpose
  1. Strategy and opportunity mapping defines the potential spatial extent of different candidate strategies, and evaluates the contribution of each strategy toward conservation goals, and informing the selection of which strategies to implement.
  2. Strategy and opportunity mapping also aids the implementation of selected strategies by identifying where each strategy can most effectively be implemented.
Products
  • Map of the potential impacts of the candidate strategies on nature and people
  • Quantification of the potential impact of the candidate strategies on nature and people
 

By creating maps that show what you expect to happen under each candidate strategy and what would happen if you did nothing, you can compare outcomes and create a spatial analysis of the impact of your proposed strategy. These maps can be powerful tools for informing the selection of which strategies to implement, and for showing where each strategy can most effectively be implemented.

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  • Articulate and document assumptions required for mapping.

  • Map expected status of conservation and human goals without any strategies.

  • Map potential extent of each candidate strategy, considering its enabling conditions and intermediate results.

    • It may be as simple as mapping the political boundaries of an area that can be affected by a policy strategy.

    • For strategies that aim to find efficient spatial solutions for multiple goals, the process may be more complex.

    • When mapping strategies, consider incorporating local knowledge.

    • Use continuous variables.

  • Refine potential extent of each strategy to reflect organizational resources and capacity.

    • Include the resources and capacity of partners.

    • Create multiple maps if there is a lot of uncertainty in this step.

    • Seek peer, stakeholder, and expert review.

  • Map and quantify expected changes in status of conservation and human well-being goals with each strategy.

    • Consider climate change.

    • Reconsider and map both positive co-benefits and negative impacts on people.

    • If risks are identified, what should you do?

    • Consider optimization methods when strategies are highly dependent on spatial context.

  • Estimate costs, calculate return on investment.

    • Consider whether costs vary spatially.

    • Calculate just your project costs.

    • Consider costs of relevant non-conservation alternatives.

    • Consider costs of monitoring and evaluation.

Minimum Standard Questions
  1. Did you document the assumptions, sources and methodologies used in the process to map your strategies?
  2. Does your analysis allow quantitative comparison of each strategy’s impact on metrics of the elements in your minimum goal statement relative to the impacts of a ‘business as usual’ projection?
  3. Do stakeholders and external experts understand and generally agree with your impact estimates?
  4. If a strategy is pursued, will your analysis inform where to target implementation and where tangible conservation outcomes are expected to be achieved?
  5. Do cost estimates allow comparison of the conservation ROI of alternative strategies? Have you included the costs of monitoring and evaluation?
  6. Have the anticipated benefits of a strategy to people been quantified in a way that is relevant and defensible for stakeholders?
FAQS Show All
Are there strategies where mapping is not required?
What if spatial data are not available?
How detailed (scale and accuracy) does the spatial information need to be for use in strategy mapping?

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