Payments for environmental service’s role in landscape connectivity
Margot A Wood, Jessica A Gilbert, Thomas E Lacher
Environmental Conservation, 47, 89-96
February 06, 2020
Creating landscapes with connectivity is vital for protecting biodiversity and meeting the environmental targets embedded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with connectivity specifically mentioned in Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets. Costa Rica created the National Biological Corridor Program (NBCP) in 2006 to enhance connectivity among protected areas. Targeted investments of payments for environmental services (PES) are the main tools used within the designated biological corridors. We conducted spatially explicit analyses to determine whether Costa Rica’s NBCP, using PES, enhanced landscape connectivity within the Paso de las Nubes Biological Corridor. We conducted landscape modelling in order to determine the connectivity held within PES’s properties by developing connectivity resistance surfaces and electrical current models. The results indicate that PES properties established after the NBCP contributed more to areas with intermediate values of connectivity and less to areas with high connectivity values as compared to properties before the NBCP. Although overall connectivity within the corridor has decreased since NBCP establishment, our results confirm the importance of PES properties for landscape connectivity, but emphasize the need for spatially targeted PES in order to improve viable paths of landscape connectivity among protected areas. Future targeted PES investments could contribute greatly to meeting connectivity goals.
Wood, M. A., Gilbert, J. A., & Lacher, T. E. (2020). Payments for environmental service’s role in landscape connectivity. Environmental Conservation, 47(2), 89–96. doi:10.1017/s0376892920000016