Seconded from IUCN since 2011, Yichuan has been developing geospatial solutions for a wide range of analytical and technical tasks in relation to natural World Heritage sites and protected areas. He manages the World Heritage data in the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA), provides geospatial input to nominations, monitoring, and supports upstream research and capacity building. His current focuses include workflow automation, remote sensing, and data visualization.
Previously working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Global Species Programme, his main responsibilities include compiling species range distributions, providing general GIS support for research projects, and developing scripts for automated data processing and mapping for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. He has a solid background in GIS, and extensive skills and experiences in its applications in nature conservation. Yichuan holds a BSc from Zhejiang University in China and a Masters in GIS and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge.
This work aims to introduce remote sensing and geospatial functionalities to enhance the precision and accessibility of Conservation Outlook Assessments through various scoping activities and initiatives. It is expected to greatly enhance the scope of proactive monitoring that the IUCN Brighter Outlook project aims to achieve.
A major update of World Heritage spatial data was completed in December 2011 when over 150 sites with missing, poor or incorrect boundaries were improved. This endeavour continues in order to incorporate the latest Committee decisions every year and whenever better information is made available to the Centre.
Yichuan contributed to a series of World Heritage thematic studies, including identification of gaps in terrestrial and marine environments, ecosystem services and benefits, and conservation outlooks. These studies were launched at World Heritage Committee meetings and IUCN World Parks Congress, with several papers published in peer-reviewed journals.