Abstract: Overfishing and climate change threaten global marine biodiversity and fisheries. Addressing these problems is particularly critical in areas of high species richness and endemicity, such as the Midriff Islands, Gulf of California (Mexico), where livelihoods of coastal communities are threatened by depletion of fish stocks and potential loss of species associated with climate change. In collaboration with researchers, agencies and local NGOs, we are designing a network of marine reserves for this priority conservation area and major fishing region. The project aims to develop a practical approach to design networks of marine reserves that consider ecological connectivity and the effects of climate change. We are following a systematic conservation planning approach to ensure the network achieves conservation objectives, while minimising costs to fisheries.
Bio: Jorge’s broad interests regard planning for the sustainable use of natural resources to achieve biodiversity conservation and development objectives. He is interested in contributing to further develop systematic conservation planning theory and practice through the integration of terrestrial and marine conservation planning initiatives. His research explores theoretical and methodological aspects of key decision-making problems associated with a land-sea approach, such as integrating cross-system threats (e.g. how land-based threats affect marine and coastal spatial prioritization), identifying co-benefits and trade-offs associated with management decisions (e.g. spatial congruence between local and downstream land values), and improving collaboration among diverse stakeholders. His work on marine planning includes developing practical approaches to designing marine reserve networks considering ecological connectivity and the effects of climate change.