Identifying Diverse Conservation Values for Place-Based Spatial Planning Using Crowdsourced Voluntary Geographic Information

<p>The values of conservationists and planners will affect their decisions, tools, and practice, while the values of the public will affect the social acceptability of different management actions and, consequently, the likely success of implementation. This study investigates how voluntary geographic information systems (VGI) can be used to identify areas important for anthropocentric and biocentric values across a spatial planning region to inform place-based conservation planning. The study also identified anthropocentric–biocentric areas where both anthropocentric and biocentric values were assigned to the same location. Differences in local knowledge and number of visits were observed between value orientations. Differences in distance to marine reserves, conservation land, and residential areas were also observed. The study highlighted how VGI can be a useful tool to encourage awareness and engagement initial stages of the planning cycle while providing spatial data to identify place-based conservation opportunities across diverse conservation values.</p>