Titolo della tesi: SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELING AND LAND USE MAPPING IN THE 3 RIO CONVENTIONS’ FRAMEWORK FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS
Studying the natural distribution of plant communities and forests, their extent, their edaphic, climatic, and environmental characteristics, constitutes a solid first step towards correct environmental planning and ecosystem monitoring, as it can offer a framework for the assessment of changes and deforestation trends that occurred over time. Following the recommendations of the Three Rio Conventions (UNCCC, UNCCD, and CBD) and of the latest international agreements, policymakers are increasing their attention toward the preservation of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and land degradation; especially in areas with a strong human impact. Mainstreaming the study of plant communities’ distribution in international cooperation projects can then become a useful tool to understand the most effective actions possible for the management, conservation, and restoration of the natural vegetation, taking also into account the current and future effects of climate change. The study of the spatial distribution of plant communities, therefore, is gaining considerable importance for environmental policymakers, especially in developing countries where the anthropic impact is currently increasing and funds for conservation have to be used effectively, such as South Africa, Papua New Guinea, and Mozambique. This thesis provides three different examples developed in national and international programs, with a specific focus on the synergies with the Three Rio Conventions.