The Challenge of Managing Marine Biodiversity: A Practical Toolkit for a Cartographic, Territorial Approach
An approach to the management of marine biodiversity was developed based on two levels of environmental diagnostics: (1) the characterization (to identify types), and (2) the evaluation (to define status and values). Both levels involve the production of maps, namely: (i) morphobathymetry and sedimentology; (ii) habitats; (iii) natural emergencies; (iv) degradation and risk; (v) weighted vulnerability; (vi) environmental quality; and, (vii) susceptibility to use. A general methodological aspect that must be stated first is the need of dividing the mapped area in territorial units corresponding to submultiples of the UTM grid and having different sizes according to the scale adopted. Territorial units (grid cells) are assigned to one of five classes of evaluation, ranging from high necessity of conservation or protection to non-problematic, unimportant or already compromised (according to the specific map) situations. Depending on the scale, these maps are suited for territorial planning (small scales, allowing for a synoptic view) or for administration and decision making (large scales, providing detail on local situations and problems). Mapping should be periodically repeated (diachronic cartography) to assure an efficient tool for integrated coastal zone management.
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