Data firm launches tool to drive US environmental action « Carbon Pulse
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Data firm launches tool to drive US environmental action « Carbon Pulse

An American data analytics company has launched a decision-support platform for biodiversity conservation in the western US.

NatureServe’s conservation data portal will use an updated version of the Map of Biodiversity Importance (MoBI), a publicly available dataset originally released in 2020 that aims to identify areas that are critical for species survival.

This tool will support the work of a wide range of conservation partners by providing comprehensive knowledge of what is at risk and what should be protected in a given area.

“By integrating cutting-edge modeling techniques and expanding species ranges, we are better prepared to identify and protect critical habitats, ensuring our natural heritage is preserved for generations to come,” Lori Scott, NatureServe’s executive director, said in a statement.

The updated MoBI dataset includes additional areas of high biodiversity, such as the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers and the desert Southwest, which provide key habitat for freshwater species and rare plants.

In addition, it assesses more than 600 species that have recently been identified as threatened, including an entirely new group of taxa: solitary bees.

Data firm launches tool to drive US environmental action « Carbon Pulse

Source: NatureServe

“This progress also supports efforts like the 30 by 30 initiative, an ambitious effort to protect 30% of nature by 2030,” NatureServe said in a statement.

According to Chris Tracey, director of spatial analytics at NatureServe, the map resolution is now nine times finer than the original version.

NatureServe has partnered with California-based software company Esri, one of the largest global providers of geographic information systems (GIS) technology, to leverage the new potential of MoBI.

“Effective environmental protection requires understanding where action is most needed, as well as how to direct and prioritize efforts,” Sean Breyer, director of Esri ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, added in a statement.

Speaking to Carbon Pulse earlier this year, David Gadsden, director of environmental solutions at Esri, said mapping software can play a significant role in increasing environmental investment given its ability to predict future scenarios and prevent the loss of natural resources.

“With mapping software, you can easily visualize impacts on biodiversity, identify key ecosystems and monitor progress,” he said.

By Giada Ferraglioni – [email protected]

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