Site Selection Criteria

1 The sites should have relatively intact upland or inland forests with preferably some cloud or moss forests. Because upland forests are generally still the best preserved native ecosystems on most Pacific high islands they have been selected as the priority ecosystems for study during the first phase of PABITRA.
2 Each site should also extend downward altitudinally into a range of other ecosystems (e.g., lowland and secondary forests, agricultural ecosystems, freshwater wetlands, coastal and mangrove forests, intertidal zones, lagoons and reef ecosystems) and preferably have a major river or stream that links these ecosystems along vertical transects or gradients.

Sites must be accessible to researchers in terms of logistics or practicability and cost-effectiveness of conducting multiple disciplinary studies at the sites.

4 Sites must be connected to an institution or group of institutions that could serve as the lead agency in coordinating and facilitating the PABITRA studies at each site.
5 Preferably, sites should have ongoing research, or a body of existing data from past studies to allow for economies of scale in terms of the cost and research effort required for comparison over time.
6 The sites should be under some form of protected status so that permanent study plots can be maintained and long-term ecological research (LTER) are continued on the sites in the future.
7 There should be scope for collaboration between a number of research organizations, government and non-government organizations and local communities.
8 There must be government support for the designation of the area as a PABITRA site for long-term ecological research.
9 There must be local support, based on the principle of “informed prior consent,” of the landowners and resident support communities for the designation of the area as a PABITRA site.

PABITRA will include two site categories: “Transect Sites” and “Peripheral Sites.” Among the proposed Transect Sites “Transect Core Sites” will be selected during future workshops.



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Last Updated: 11/25/99