Mapping nature to identify Essential Life Support Areas (ELSA) to create "map of hope" where actions can support biodiversity
For the last 2 decades, Ecuador has lost biodiversity and faces today possible effects of climate change. 2 million hectares of native forest have been deforested and rainfall in the coast region has increased by 33% compared to data of the last 30 years.
By using the free, open-source UNBLab we have global data available, plus the national data which builds up a much more exact and reliable Essential Life Support Areas (ELSA) ELSA Map for the country. The ELSA Web tool supports decision makers in solving complex development planning issues based on spatial data and science. This is a way to help governments develop a different and more sustainable approach while making planning decisions.
The co-creation of the ELSA Map is based on constant consultations with stakeholders. During 2021 and 2022 we could work with indigenous people living in the Amazon region, with limited access but high interest in creating the map and learning about the process and digital tools for their future benefits.
ELSA generates benefits at a national scale, including Galapagos, with a special focus on territories where commitments in the areas of biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development are identified.
Currently the ELSA process is being implemented in 12 countries, including Ecuador, within the UNDP global programme.