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Section 3 Monitoring at site and landscape scale Background Monitoring plan Background


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Section 3

Monitoring at site and landscape scale



Background
Monitoring plan
Background

“Landscape” and “ecosystem” approaches are replacing “Integrated Conservation and Development” as the predominant organising frameworks for the field activities of many conservation agencies. Many field interventions in developing countries now operate at large spatial scales and deal with complex land cover mosaics. They frequently aspire both to improve local livelihoods and to conserve the environment. However, there is little empirical evidence about the effectiveness of these approaches. Monitoring and evaluation methods typically emphasise either the state of species (or ecosystems), or simply project deliverables and outputs (Stem et al 2005). The approaches used often have limited ability to address the issue of where the balance between conservation and development (improvement of livelihoods) should lie. Methods are needed to make the tradeoffs between conservation and development explicit, and to provide platforms for negotiation about these tradeoffs. Tough questions need to be tackled. These processes should be founded on some form of objective landscape performance monitoring. Considering this it is proposed that the Stora Enso Monitoring plan could be based on two modules:




  1. The Ecosystem Integrity Monitoring Toolkit

  2. The Landscape Outcome Assessment Methodology – which includes extensive stakeholder involvement and addresses social conditions within and around the plantation


The Ecosystem Integrity Monitoring Toolkit

This tool identifies a series of indicators for monitoring the project progress and its long term impacts, positive and negative, on the environment. A series of specialists were commissioned to provide background information about the region but also to help develop indicators. The indicators are presented below, in Table 86.


Table 86: Indicators for monitoring

Thematic area

Indicator

Method

Intensity

Geology/chemistry

Potentiometric levels

Observation wells

Annual

Chemical parameters

Observation wells

Annual

Soils

Physical parameters

Field sample

Adaptive

Chemical parameters

Field sample

Adaptive

Biological parameters

Field sample

Adaptive

Vegetation

Invasive species

Mapping distribution

All land holdings

Native habitats

Conservation status

High conservation value areas

Fauna

Ecosystem integrity (benthonic, coleopteran, amphibian, reptile, birds, mammals)

Conservation status

High conservation value areas

The draft list of indicators was drawn up in a workshop in Montevideo in April 2007 and has since been modified by consultants; it has still to be finalised. Sections on hydrology and suggested indicators for flora, fauna and invertebrates are discussed below.



Monitoring the physical environment

The relationship between forest plantations and water is a controversial and recurring issue everywhere. Clearly, what appears to be consensual, today, mainly as a result of the accumulated experimental results, is the fact that the controversy involves many other aspects, other than the simple question of how much water do the plantations use, or whether they dry up the soil or not. Indeed, it is a complex environmental problem, the solution of which does require the scrutiny of science, but must also take into account all the uncertainties involved in the relations between the use of the natural resources and the related environmental impacts, including the social and cultural trade-offs involved in the transformation of the landscape and the expansion of the area of plantations, mainly in terms of the crucial need to protect hydrologically critical areas and maintain the ecosystems services.

Therefore, monitoring appears to be a critical process of a large scale plantation forest project and important questions that should be made for the planning of the monitoring process are: a) what are the main variables involved in this complexity?; b) what needs to be monitored?; c) what are the procedures?

One important aspect of the monitoring process is related to the need for the establishing of clear cause-and-effect relationship between management practices and environmental impacts (Likens, 1985; Brechtel & Fuhrer, 1994; Brydges, 1996; Stednick, 1996). In this regard, the use of the catchment as an experimental approach to study the effects of forest management, which was initiated in France, around the year of 1850 (Andréassian, 2004) and soon propagated to several other countries, attends this important criterion. The accumulated results obtained with experimental catchments are far-reaching, demonstrating clearly that land use can be either beneficial or detrimental to water resources. They also demonstrate that forest management and plantation forest management can cause impacts on the quantity and the quality of the water flowing from the catchments, but the magnitude of these possible effects varies from place to place. But most importantly, they also demonstrate that it is quite possible, based on the knowledge of the catchment hydrologic functioning, to plan and implement plantation forest management practices with a minimal hydrologic effects (Swank & Johnson, 1994; Stednick, 1996).

Another most important point is that the use of experimental catchments is also a consistent way of integrated monitoring. Instead of just trying to find out how much water do forest plantations use, which can be measured in different ways, with the catchment we are trying to find the answers to many other pertinent questions of the relations between forest plantations and water, such as: catchment water balance, streamflow quality, soil and nutrient losses, geochemical cycling of nutrients, quality of the aquatic ecosystem and maintenance of the catchment health. These aspects interest both, the forest project, in terms of its sustainability, and society as a whole, in terms of avoiding downstream impacts and also of the perpetuity of the catchment ecosystems services. They also are very much related to the main variables that need to be monitored: water use conflicts, downstream effects and maintenance of the environmental services and catchment health

Monitoring the biological environment

The steps needed to protect landscape scale integrity in the plantation are not difficult, but they are to some extent experimental and monitoring will be important if the company is to know whether or not it has succeeded. In most cases monitoring is not necessarily needed throughout, but selected sites can act as models to test out, for example, if the plantation is having any impact on water quality.


Local experts have identified a range of biological indicators:


  • Monitoring long-term survival of valuable plant species that have been set aside in conservation areas (see Table 87). These have been selected as indicators of a range of habitat types found in the region, including various types of campos grassland, woodland, wetland habitats and cliffs.




  • Populations of some key mammal species (including potential problem species)




  • Populations of indicator birds, selecting indicators from a range of criteria (described in the section on biodiversity in the landscape) with a proposed list of 45 birds species to be monitored over time (see Table 88)




  • Survival of amphibians, measured by occurrence and abundance, to act as an indicator of both freshwater purity and the potential impact of pesticides including formicides.







  • Selected benthnic invertebrates (principally stonefly, mayfly and dragonfly nymphs) to measure water quality (see Table 89).

Table 87: Suggested plant indicator species for different habitats



Habitat

Sub-habitats

Successional stage

Dominant or indicator species

Main threats

Campos

Superficiales

Recent agriculture

Cynodon dactylon

Erosion risk

Carduus sp.

Cirsium vulgare

No recent agric.

Dorstenia brasiliensis

Erosion risk

Pedregosos

Recent agriculture







No recent agric.

Perezia sonchifolia




Dorstenia brasiliensis




Arenosos

Recent agriculture




Habitat change by forestry or ag.

No recent agric.

Dorstenia brasiliensis

Habitat change by forestry or ag.

Paspalum nicorae

Panicum sabulorum

Axonopus argentinus

Erosion risk

De “oleadas” (sobre vertisoles)

Recent agriculture




Habitat change

No recent agriculture

Poa lanigera

Habitat change

Bromus auleticus

Dorstenia brasiliensis

Geranium albicans

Uliginosos (con anegamiento)

Recent agriculture







No recent agriculture

Stenotaphrum secundatum

Eleocharis bonariensis

Hydrocotyle bonariensis

Polypogon sp.

General










Arenales







Axonopus argentinus

Habitat change

Broumus auleticus

Invasion by exotic species

Psidium luridum

Schizachyrium tenerum

Vernonia spp

Bacchari spp

Eupatorium spp

Woodland

Ribereños

Primary

Ocotea acutifolia

Invasion by exotic species

Scutia buxifolia

Myrcianthes cisplatensis

Ruprechtia

Secondary

Salix humboldtiana

Invasion by exotic species

Myrsine laetevirens

Sebastiania commersoniana

“Capones”




Syagrus romanzoffiana




Blechnum brasiliensis

Blechnum tabulare

Calyptranthes concinna

Palms




Butia yatay

Habitat change by forestry or agriculture

Cliffs

No arbolades




Cacti

Habitat change by forestry or agriculture

Bulbs

Eupatorum, Psidium etc

Arbolades




Lithraea brasiliensis

Ocotea acutifolia

Pteridófitas

Wetlands

General wetlands




Panicum prionitis




Cyperus spp.

Schoenoplectus sp.

Eryngium pandanifolium

Pontederia sp.

Ludwigia spp.

Acid wetlands




Cunila galeoides




Hippeastrum angustifolium

Senecio iccoglosoides

Senecio mattfeldianus

Festuca fimbriata

Briza calotheca

Plantation

Pine










Eucalyptus

Young pine

Young eucalypt

Table 88: Possible indicator species of birds for use by the project



Site

Habitat

Species

English name

ARG, TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Rhea americana

Giant rhea

TEJ

Aquatic

Cygnus melanchoryphus

Black-necked swan

ARG, TEJ

Aquatic

Coscoroba coscoroba

Coscoroba

ARG

Aquatic

Cairina moschata

Muscovy duck

ARG, TEJ

Aquatic

Netta peposaca

Rosy-billed pochard

ARG

Aquatic

Pandion haliaetus

Osprey

ARG, TEJ

Grassland

Circus cinereus

Cinereous harrier

ARG, TIA

Grassland

Falco femoralis

Aplomado falcon

ARG

Forest

Penelope obscura

Dusky-legged guan

TEJ

Grassland

Cariama cristata

Red-legged seriema

TEJ

Grassland

Pluvialis dominica

Golden plover

TEJ

Grassland

Bartramia longicauda

Upland sandpiper

TEJ

Aquatic

Tringa melanoleuca

Greater yellowlegs

ARG, TEJ

Aquatic

Tringa flavipes

Lesser yellowlegs

TEJ

Aquatic

Calidris melanotos

Pectoral sandpiper

TEJ

Aquatic

Calidris fuscicollis

White-rumped sandpiper

ARG

Aquatic

Larus cirrocephalus

Grey-hooded gull

ARG, TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Speotyto cunicularia

Short-eared owl

ARG

Forest

Aratinga leucophthalmus

White-eyed parakeet

TIA

Grassland

Geositta cunicularia

Common miner

TIA

Grassland

Spartonoica maluroides

Bay-capped wren-spinetail

TEJ

Grassland

Asthenes hudsoni

Hudson’s canastero

TIA

Forest

Lochmias nematura

Sharp-tailed streamcreeper

ARG, TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Heteroxolmis dominicana

Black and white monjita

ARG, TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Alopochelidon fucata

Tawny-headed swallow

TEJ

Grassland

Anthus correndera

Correndera pipit

TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Anthus furcatus

Short-billed pipit

ARG, TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Anthus hellmayri

Hellmayr’s pipit

ARG, TEJ

Grassland

Anthus lutescens

Yellowish pipit

TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Anthus nattereri

Ochre-breasted pipit

TEJ

Grassland

Cistothorus platensis

Grass wren

ARG

Forest

Turdus albicollis

White-necked thrush

TIA

Grassland

Sporophila cinnnamomea

Chestnut seedeater

ARG

Grassland

Sporophila palustris

Marsh seedeater

ARG, TEJ, TIA

Forest

Paroaria coronata

Red-crested cardinal

TEJ

Forest

Saltator aurantiirostris

Golden-billed saltator

ARG, TEJ

Forest

Saltator similis

Green-winged saltator

ARG, TEJ

Forest

Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea

Glaucous-blue grosbeak

ARG, TIA

Forest

Stephanophorus diadematus

Diademed tanager

ARG

Forest

Pipraeidea melanonota

Fawn-breasted tanager

ARG

Forest

Tangara preciosa

Chestnut-backed tanager

TEJ, TIA

Grassland

Xanthopsar flavus

Saffron-cowled blackbird

ARG

Forest

Cyanocorax chrysops

Plush-crested jay

ARG = Los Argentinos

TEJ = La Teja

TIA = Tas Tías


Table 89: Possible freshwater benthnic species for monitoring



Habitat

Order

Family

Indicator species

Los Argentinos

Sandy bottom with stones

Ephemeroptera

Siphlonuridae

Metamonius sp.




Haplohyphes sp.




Askola sp.




Odonata

Protoneuridae







 

Coenagrionidae

 




 

Libellulidae

 




Plecoptera***

Grypopterygidae

Claudioperla sp.




Decapoda

Aeglidae

Aegla sp.

Las Tías

Sand and stone

Ephemeroptera

Siphlonuridae

Metamonius sp.




Odonata

Protoneuridae

Peristicta sp.




 

Gomphidae

Zoonophora sp.




Decapoda

Aeglidae

Aegla sp.

La Teja

Sandy bottom

Ephemeroptera

Siphlonuridae

Metamonius sp.




Odonata

Coenagrionidae

 




 

Protoneuridae

 




 

Libellulidae

Libellula sp.

Running water

Odonata

Coenagrionidae

 




 

Corduliidae

Rialla sp.




Trichoptera

Calamoceratidae

Phylloicus sp.

Sandy bottom

Odonata

Libellulidae

Perithemis sp.




 

Gomphidae

Progomphus sp.




 

 

Phyllocycla sp




 

 

Gomphoides sp.




Trichoptera

Leptoceridae

Triplectides sp.


The Landscape Outcome Assessment Methodology

LOAM is an approach to assess the environmental outcomes and changes in peoples’ livelihoods resulting from landscape-scale conservation interventions. It is based on simple sets of performance indicators developed through participatory processes that included a variety of stakeholders. This selection of indicators is designed to reflect wider landscape processes, conservation objectives and as local people’s preferred scenarios. This framework, combined with the use of social learning techniques, helped stakeholders develops greater understandings of landscape system dynamics and the linkages between livelihood and conservation objectives.


The LOAM process takes part alongside other processes with local communities, including consultations and other initiatives run by Stora Enso.
In this case, it is proposed that the LOAM approach is also the way of measuring social impacts of the project, whereby local stakeholders work with a consultant team to choose the indicators, thereby ensuring that the things measured are those most directly concerning local people.
Large scale conservation and development interventions should use these approaches to explore linkages and improve shared understanding of tradeoffs and synergies between livelihood and conservation initiatives. Such approaches provide the basis for negotiating and measuring the outcomes of conservation initiatives and for adapting these to changing perspectives and circumstances (Sayer 2006).
The Stora Enso workshop achieved good consensus on a first indicator set (see table below). However it is more likely that the framework produced will only be partially complete. In addition the latest data for a specific indicator may not be immediately available, or in the most extreme case may need to be collected. Therefore it is best to plan for the time of a post-workshop follow-up to complete the indicator set, gather and/or collect the required data and compile the first baseline assessment. This process in itself will provide a first feasibility test of the proposed indicator set.
Table 90: First suggestions for an indicator set to apply the LOAM

Thematic area

Indicator

Method

Intensity

Anthropology

Human assets (health, education)

Landscape Outcome Assessment Methodology (LOAM)

Sample of representative villages

Social assets (services, jobs)

Economic assets (economy status)

Political assets

(local policies, stakeholders)

Environmental assets (environmental problems)







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