Generally, vulnerability is seen as the outcome of a mixture of environmental, social, cultural, institutional and economic structures and processes related to poverty and (health) risk, not a phenomennon related to environmetal risk only. The aim of vulnerability indicies is to describe the relative vulnerability of states.

The Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI) as developed by the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commision (SOPAC), will be used to measure the environmental vulnerability of a country. An EVI was constructed, based on a theoretical framework that identified there aspects of vulnerability: risk to the environment (natural and anthropogenic), the innate ability of the environment to cope with the risks (resilience) and ecosystem integrity (the health or condition of the environment as result of past impacts).

The benefits of producing an EVI are that it can attract attention to certain states which are considered “more vulnerable” and it summarises vulnerability based on meaningful criteria which can be considered by the governments and donors when allocating financial aid and projects. The EVI and sub-indicies are calculated using an EXCEL workbook. The workbook (Version 7-EVI-calculator.xls) is comprised of 7 linked worksheets, each dealing with a different aspects of calculation and reporting.

The maps will be constructed in each case study and incorporated into a GIS system, for identifying biodiversity “hot spot” - places where there is a high risk (according to natural science criteria), and a low capability (according to the socio-economic, law and policy criteria). A GIS data base will accordingly be constructed with information from the areas considered vulnerable according to natural science, socio-economic, cultural-spiritual, legal and political point of view.

Most of the popular GIS softwares can be interconnected by data import/export built-in functions or through another data interchange software. A software-independent database can be considered a database which can be operated by popular softwares; and the database can be moved from one to another software for direct use without using another software to convert. Specifically, some data formats have been globally recognized by the users world wide, such as DBF, MDB, SHP, TXT, BMP, TIF, JPG, etc.

Taking consideration of currently popular GIS softwares and GIS data format, it is recommended to use a simple and globalized GIS file – the ESRI Shapefile. Shapefile is a very popular GIS format due to its founder’s popularity (ESRI company) and simple structure. Both commercial and open source softwares are able to handle Shapefile format. This format has become standardized and well recognized by the GIS communities in the world.

GIS analysis is referred to so-called Spatial Analysis in common terminologies. Basic functions of a GIS for spatial analyzing tasks can be categorized (Upton and Bernard, 1985) into some main types: (i) Spatial autocorrelation; (ii) Spatial interpolation; (iii) Spatial regression; (iv) Spatial interaction; and (v) Simulation and modeling.

Though a GIS database could support a lot to biodiversity research work, it reveals some drawbacks one should be aware of. The limited application of GIS in nature reserves up to now leaves many opportunities for refining and improvement. GIS does not popularly function in biodiversity inventory, monitoring and analysis. This part of the proposal analyses the shortcomings and puts forward some solutions as reference for nature reserves managers, technicians and scientists in the field of biodiversity conservation.