The 5s Framework
The 5 - S framework helps to systematically focus conservation action on priority biodiversity and critical threats in a dynamic, adaptive process involving setting the geographic and threat priorities, developing strategies, taking action, and measuring the conservation impact (TNC 2000).
This framework allows for a participatory planning process involving partners and stakeholders. The dynamics in the subsequent planning process using the 5 - S Framework could be summarised as follows:
- Sources of Stress
- Success Measures
Next, viability indicators are selected; these are measurable entities used to assess the status of key ecological attributes. Finally, indicator-rating categories are developed. These are criteria that objectively define an indicator as one of four categories corresponding to poor, fair, good, and very good viability status.
Once targets are identified, viability of each target occurrence is assessed according to three criteria: size, condition, and landscape context. Size reflects the area or abundance of the occurrence. Condition is a measure that integrates composition, structure and biotic interactions of a particular target. Landscape context is an integrated measure of the dominant environmental regimes (e.g. fire, flood) and the availability of the habitats and resources necessary for long-term sustainability of the conservation target.
Adopting the above guidelines, the MPCT decided to select eight (8) conservation targets. These targets comprised of three (3) ecological systems, viz, the Hill mixed Dipterocarp Forest (HMDF), the Lower Montane Forest (LMF) and the summit scrub (SS); and five (5) species of which two (2) were floral species (Rafflesia keithii and Nepenthes x trusmadiensis), one (1) each from the insect species (Rajah Brooke Birdwings), the avian fauna species (Hornbills) and the aquatic fauna species (serawi fish). This selection took some three (3) months to be finalised.
Stresses and their Sources
Sources of stress are the causes or agents of destruction or degradation (TNC 2000).
Critical threats are those with the greatest impact upon the system. The most critical threats are identified through a process of identifying and ranking the extent and severity of the stresses and the sources of stress. In using this method to identify and rank critical threats, the highest-ranked threats to a particular focal biodiversity element could be determined and the highest-ranked threats at a conservation area across all elements could also be identified. Identification of stresses and their sources by the planning teams resulted in finalising five (5) major threats for FMU 10. These are forest fires, encroachments, rubbish dumping by visitors along the climbing trials and the summit, illegal poaching of flora and fauna and illegal logging.
- Threat abatement: These strategies would eliminate active sources of stress thereby reducing subsequent stress in the conserving the targets and increasing their conservation viability.
- Ecological Management and Restoration: These strategies would directly eliminate stress affecting the targets and thereby enhancing the viability of conserving these targets.
The threat status monitoring on the other hand would quantify the impact in reducing or eliminating the magnitude of the critical threats.
Tracking changes in the status of threats and focal biological elements through careful measurements of conservation progress allows for the assessment of the effectiveness of individual conservation strategies and maintains the adaptive management of the conservation actions (TNC 2000).
After deliberations that also took some three (3) months of efforts from various planning teams efforts, a total of 33 monitoring activities were developed for FMU 10.