Defining a zoning problem.
The following information is adapted from Serra-Sogas et al. 2020 and Grantham et al. 2013. Defining a zoning problem can be broken down into seven steps. These steps are specific to setting up a Marxan with Zones planning framework, and are separate to a broader planning exercise that is an iterative process. See "a framework for systematic conservation planning".
Step 1. Identify goals and objectives
Step 2. Identifying compatibilities and incompatibilities
Step 3. Defining number of zones needed to meet the objectives
Step 4. Identifying feature data based on objectives
Step 5. Identify costs based on objectives
Step 6. Defining the relationship between zones, features and costs
Step 7. Defining the spatial relationship between zones
STEP 1. IDENTIFY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES.
As with any systematic conservation planning exercise the first step is to explicitly define what you are trying to achieve. What are the different objectives within your planning region? What are the different zones? Lets explore a hypothetical example from Raja Ampat in Indonesia.
Located on the north-western tip of Papua, eastern Indonesia, Raja Ampat consists of nearly 1500 islands and encompasses an area of over 4.5 million hectares. Sitting in the epicenter of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat contains the world’s most biodiverse coral reefs and is a global priority for conservation. Ecological surveys in the Raja Ampat archipelago have recorded 1320 species of coral reef fish and 553 species of scleractinian corals which is around 75% of the world’s total. The region is also important for many species of marine mega fauna including 16 species of cetacean, dugong, and three species of turtles (Grantham et al. 2013).
STEP 2. IDENTIFYING COMPATIBILITIES AND INCOMPATIBILITIES BETWEEN OBJECTIVES.
STEP 3. DEFINING THE NUMBER OF ZONES.
STEP 4. IDENTIFYING FEATURE DATA BASED ON OBJECTIVES.
STEP 5. ASSIGNING COST (OR COSTS) BASED ON OBJECTIVES.
STEP 6. SPECIFYING THE RELATIONSHIPS OF ZONES WITH FEATURES AND COSTS.
STEP 7. DEFINING THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ZONES.
FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Much of the information presented here was adapted from:
Serra-Sogas N., Kockel A, Williams, B., Watts, M., Klein, C., Stewart, R., Ball, I., Game, E., Possingham, H., & McGowan J. (2020). Marxan with Zones User Manual. For Marxan with Zones version 2.0.1 and above. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Arlington, Virginia, United States and Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association (PacMARA), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. https://marxansolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/MarZone_User_Manual_2021.pdf
Grantham, Hedley S., Vera N. Agostini, Joanne Wilson, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Nur Hidayat, Andreas Muljadi, Chris Rotinsulu, Meity Mongdong, Michael W. Beck, and Hugh P. Possingham. "A comparison of zoning analyses to inform the planning of a marine protected area network in Raja Ampat, Indonesia." Marine Policy 38 (2013): 184-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2012.05.035