Investments in conservation and their successful application are placed at risk by climate change. SPARC aims to close the gap between current areas set aside for conservation and the lands that will become necessary to protect in the near future. SPARC will assess the effects of climate change in the three highest diversity tropical regions: South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. This focused analysis will help inform the development and management of national protected area networks by providing critical information on the movement of key species. The regional perspective provides the basis for understanding what individual nations can do to protect biodiversity and what actions would require collaboration with neighboring countries.
“The great thing about the big data approach we are taking with SPARC is that we will be able to produce locally useful information on a global scale” – Richard Corlett, Director of Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Renowned international researchers, including Richard Leakey (Stonybrook University; Turkana Basin Institute), Carlos Nobre (CAPES - Brazil), Rebecca Shaw (WWF) and Nijivalli H. Ravindranath (Indian Institute of Science) form the science guidance panel of the project. They are helping design cutting-edge methods for the massive data collection, modeling and analysis the project will undertake. SPARC project management is provided by Conservation International and involves researchers from the University of Arizona (USA), Leeds University (UK), Catholic University of Chile (Chile), Stellenbosch University (South Africa), and Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens (China).