Skip to main content

Policy support tool

Mapping biodiversity priorities: A practical, science-based approach to national biodiversity assessment and prioritisation to inform strategy and action planning

Aim of the resource

Spatial data and mapping can provide multiple benefits for biodiversity strategies and action planning at a national scale. However, few countries include any spatial data strategies in their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). It shows how it is possible to use available spatial data to conduct a useful national assessment of biodiversity in a short space of time and with minimal resources. This document shows how a few basic datasets can be combined to produce useful headline indicators of the state of biodiversity and map products that help to focus and prioritise conservation action across the landscape and seascape, at the country level. This information can be used to inform a wide range of policy applications, including but not limited to NBSAPs.

Sub/region where used:
Scale of application:
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available:
Development stage:
Full, working product
Contact details
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Phone number:
Upload or select existing file – Add new file

This document sets out a practical, science-based approach to spatial biodiversity assessment and prioritisation, which can be applied at the national level in any country. It is especially useful for countries that are both biodiversity rich and resource constrained, where difficult choices have to be made about how and where to focus conservation action. This document shows how even the most data-poor country can use available global data as the basis for an initial spatial assessment and prioritization that will yield useful results. The core intended audience is those individuals involved in revising or implementing NBSAPs, although the approach has many other wider applications.


Subregions covered