Systematic conservation planning is a recognised tool for advancing ongoing efforts to establish meaningful protection for the unique biodiversity of the Southern Ocean. With conservation planning already underway in a number of priority areas within the Southern Ocean, this report looks at the feasibility of complementing these targeted initiatives by assembling and analysing existing biophysical data at a whole of Southern Ocean scale. Such an analysis would provide technical support to planning for the remaining priority areas, and ensure that proposals arising out of individual priority areas can be incorporated into a whole of Southern Ocean context, while also enabling planning work to occur concurrently for areas outside the prioritiy areas. To achieve this, a marine ecosystems and habitats dataset has been developed and incorporated into the systematic conservation planning decision support tool Marxan. This report offers a proof of concept that systematic conservation planning can be applied at a whole of Southern Ocean scale.
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