Southeast Asia’s unique biodiversity is one of the most endangered worldwide by a suite of anthropogenic threats, including deforestation and habitat conversion. Rates of deforestation in Southeast Asia are the highest in the world, and the consequent habitat loss and fragmentation reduce the amount, quality and accessibility of suitable habitat for a wide range of species. Moreover, human population in the region is expected to increase dramatically during the next decades. Population growth, associated with increasing urbanization and economic growth, will likely negatively affect biodiversity through habitat loss and degradation, as well as through direct species exploitation.
Given these threats to Southeast Asian biodiversity, the main goal of the project will be producing spatially-explicit models aimed at highlighting the most important and the most endangered areas for regional biodiversity in three year: 2030, 2050 and 2070. The cutting-edge contribution of the project toward an effective and proactive conservation strategy in the region, will be the development of future landscape change scenarios through the application of demographic and socio-economic factors, in addition to landscape ones, as predictors in spatial models. The development of accurate land-use models will allow to produce reliable suitability and connectivity models for Southeast Asian biodiversity.