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Investigaciones geográficas

On-line version ISSN 2448-7279Print version ISSN 0188-4611


CRUZ-PAZ, Grecia et al. Priority Conservation Areas (APC) in the Usumacinta watershed. The application of a multi-criteria approach. Invest. Geog [online]. 2018, n.97, 00004. ISSN 2448-7279.

Priority Conservation Areas (APC) has been established to protect hotspots from human impact. The Usumacinta watershed is an important reservoir for biological resources, fluvial ecosystems and cultural heritage in Mesoamerica; however anthropogenic threats limit conservation efforts. We develop a multicriteria analysis with biological, hydrological and anthropogenic criteria to identify APC, i.e. regions with higher conservation aptitude based on vulnerability and irreplaceability criteria. Our results indicate that 23.7% of the watershed are APC; however, less than half are protected by the 124 Protected Areas in the region. Prioritizing conservation areas within the current watershed protection scheme would facilitate systemic management based on regional biophysical and social variations, thus complementing local efforts to protect 30 vulnerable species that inhabit the watershed from the impacts of human activities. Our results open new opportunities for collaboration in transnational conservation, increasing between 0.3% (Mexico) and 4.86% (Guatemala) the national protected area in the Usumacinta watershed.

Keywords : Mesoamerica; protected areas; vulnerability; irreplaceability.

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