Considerable effort was put into to developing and refining criteria that will be used by the Advisory Committee to: (i) evaluate Signatory State nominations of new sites; (ii) assess the rationale for continued inclusion of existing sites; and (iii) conduct gap analyses for the overall network to identify priorities for inclusion of additional sites.
There are 18 evaluation criteria, divided into four categories: Ecological and Biological, Governance, Socio-economic and Political, and Network-wide Ecological. A weighting scheme is used to differentiate the relative importance of the various criteria. The maximum value assigned to each criterion determines its relative importance in the overall rating. Points are awarded against each criterion, up to its maximum value.
For a site to be recommended for inclusion in the IOSEA Site Network, it must obtain a minimum score against each of the four categories, as well as a minimum total score. The site must also achieve a minimum total score of 75 across all of the criteria.
Guidance is provided to assist evaluators and proponents in their respective tasks. While the evaluation of proposals should strive to be objective, they will inevitably include a measure of subjectivity. In cases where quantitative data or even expert opinions are not available, evaluators will try to reach consensus on a score that best reflects the actual situation. Where uncertainty or lack of data is an important issue for a particular site, evaluators might recommend that priority be given to future funding/research to fill the data gap.
Once the Evaluation Criteria have been put into use, shortcomings in their formulation will certainly become apparent, and it is anticipated that the criteria will need to be kept under regular review, so that improvements can be suggested and incorporated.
Click to download the Evaluation Criteria document.