Identification of Priority Zones for Conservation Considering Water Resources in the Alto Paraguai Watershed Region

Carlos Antonio Oliveira Vieira1, Leonardo Campos de Assis1, Michael Becker2
1.Federal University of Vicosa - Civil Engineering Dept., Surveying Engineering Sector, Vicosa-MG, Brazil
2. World Wildlife Fund – WWF, Brasilia - DF, Brazil

1.{carlos.vieira, leonardo.assis}@ufv.br; 2.michael@wwf.org.br

Abstract: Due to the environmental importance of the Pantanal (west swam region in Brazil) and the constant alterations occurring in the region, resulting from the exploration of natural resources, this work was set out to use multi-criteria analysis in order to define priority zones for conservation in the Alto Paraguai River Basin. Separate scenarios were constructed for the contexts of: Anthropic (human activities) use, Water Resources and Natural Soil Conservation, which used criteria associated to: elevation, slope face orientation, degree of slope, morphology, accumulated flow, distance from urban centers, distance from road and rail systems, types of soil, and vegetation cover, NDVI and average annual rainfall accumulation. The priority zones were effectively obtained by combining the three scenarios and subsequently reclassifying the values into five conservation priority categories: very low, low, medium, high and very high. The results show that the highland areas inside the basin where the headwaters are located are the top priority zones for conservation, as they were defined taking into account the aspects of anthropic activity, water resources and natural soil conservation.

Keywords: multi-criteria analysis, geographic information system, conservation areas

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