TAMARIN: A landscape framework for evaluating economic incentives for rainforest restoration

TitleTAMARIN: A landscape framework for evaluating economic incentives for rainforest restoration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsStoms, DM, Chomitz, KM, Davis, FW
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Date Published2004
KeywordsBiodiversity conservation planning, Brazil, GIS, Mata Atlântica, Opportunity costs, Spatial decision support system

The rapid disappearance of the remaining Atlantic rainforest in Brazil exemplifies the need for efficient conservation planning in fragmented habitats under intense human pressure. Such planning needs to address key conservation criteria: representation, redundancy, and resilience. It also needs to recognize the opportunity cost of devoting land to conservation. Yet most existing planning frameworks fail to incorporate all three conservation criteria, and few allow for spatially variable opportunity costs of land. This paper presents a GIS-based spatial decision support system––TAMARIN––that incorporates all these features. TAMARIN can be used to evaluate particular landscape configurations, such as proposed enhancements to a conservation reserve network. It also allows simulation and assessment of market-based economic policies to promote conservation, such as rental or purchase of conservation easements. These may be particularly important in minimizing costs and securing landholder compliance in populous areas with highly fragmented natural habitats. Although TAMARIN was tailored to the planning issues and data sources of the south Bahia portion of the Atlantic rainforest, the ecological and economic underpinnings make it adaptable to many other locations.

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