Main image for Assessing Ecological Value of Landscapes Beyond Protected Areas (LEFT)

 LEFT presents a simple yet effective method for mapping ecological important landscapes beyond protected areas.

The method uses existing globally available web-based databases and models to provide an ecological score based on five key ecological features (biodiversity, fragmentation, threat, connectivity, and resilience) for every 300m pixel within any given region in the world. Co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) of the site location are all that are required as input and the resulting output is a coloured map indicating ecological value across the landscape. The primary audience of this tool are those practitioners involved in planning the location of any industrial and/or business facility outside of protected areas. It provides a pre-planned tool to use before undertaking a more costly field-based investigation and quickly highlights areas of high ecological value to avoid in the location of facilities.

View an example analysis output for Mahamavo, Madagascar

For more information about the methodology used in the Local Ecological Footprint Tool (LEFT) see the paper published in Biological Conservation, describing the methodology and demonstrating the potential of the tool in three regions: Algeria, the Russian Federation and Canada.

To use LEFT please go to the tool.