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In recent years a consensus has emerged within the international conservation community about the importance of planning and working at larger geographic scales to conserve biodiversity.

Responding to these developments in conservation science experiences in implementing landscape-scale projects, in 1996 the ecoregional approach and conservation goal outlined

and to the organization’s own The Nature Conservancy adopted in Conservation by Design: A

Framework for Mission Success (TNC, 1997). Translating Framework into on-the-ground results in Latin America challenges. One of the greatest challenges in this case, Conservation Blueprint.

the vision set forth by the Conservation and the Caribbean represents special is assembling an Ecoregionally based

Since it is not realistic to create over the short term an Ecoregionally based Conservation Blueprint for Latin America and the Caribbean, due mainly to: the large number of ecoregions within the region; an unequal knowledge of conservation targets between different countries; the limited technical and financial resources that can be channeled to integrate the ecoregional portfolios; and, the urgency for conservation action in the region, a Nationally based Conservation Blueprint approach is being developed.

The Nationally based Conservation Blueprint approach being experimented for The Conservancy’s Mexico Division is based on a three pronged approach: ecoregional priorities and site priorities, within an identifiable conservation targets component.

At the Ecoregional Level, an analysis of all previous ecoregional priority setting exercises was carried out, in order to determine the ranking of each ecoregion within the country. Out of this exercise a three level ranking system of “Mexico’s National Ecoregional Portfolio” was developed, including all terrestrial, marine, mangrove and freshwater ecoregions contained within its borders.

Since the results of most of the ecoregional priority setting exercises analyzed were developed by using experts opinion and in order to be able to capture more specific conservation targets, an analysis of existing vertebrate and plant State level data was further utilized and compared with an evaluation of “TNC’s Current Country Ecoregional Portfolio”, along with a feasibility analysis for TNC’s possibility to effectively work in the different States in order to generate “TNC’s Priority Country Ecoregions Portfolio”, which together will integrate “TNC’s Country Ecoregional Portfolio”.

At the Site Level the approach to the integration of “Mexico’s National Site Portfolio” was achieved through the inclusion of: select Federal and State protected areas with importance towards the protection of biodiversity; CONABIO’s terrestrial, marine and freshwater priority regions; and, areas identified through previous priority exercises. In order to include identifiable conservation targets, select biogroups targets were identified (birds, mammals and vegetation, including a gap analysis of remaining vegetation types surface area in 1996, in relation to existing protected areas). The CONABIO and biogroups information was further utilized to evaluate “TNC’s Country Current Site Portfolio”, which together with priority sites to carry out future work, chosen within “TNC’s Country Ecoregional Portfolio” for their biodiversity, leverage and feasibility, will integrate “TNC’s Country Site Portfolio”.

The following table schematizes the above outlined three pronged approach, used to in the construction of Ecoregionally Based National Sites and Target Portfolios. TNC’s Ecoregional, Sites and Target Country Portfolios for Mexico, are not dealt with in this document and are developed in “Annex I - Developing a Conservation Blueprint for a Sites & Partners Ecoregional

System structure in Mexico”, of The Conservancys Mexico Mexico Division, Mexico Country Program 2001-2005:


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