Introduction to Marxan Training

Marxan is one of the most widely used conservation and resource use planning tool globally. It can support the design of a network of areas for protection in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater environments. Developed by Ian Ball and Hugh Possingham from the University of Queensland, Australia, Marxan supports spatial prioritization by producing transparent and repeatable results. The software can facilitate smart decision-making that accounts for a broad range of stakeholders and trade-offs in a spatially and economically efficient manner.

Course description
This hands-on technical course will provide participants with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to use Marxan in a marine conservation planning exercise. Participants will use ArcGIS or QGIS plug-ins (by Apropos), and Zonae Cogito to set up Marxan scenarios during the hands-on exercises.

Topics covered in this course will include:

  • Addressing key principles of systematic conservation planning in Marxan
  • What is Marxan? And what problems is it good at solving?
  • How to generate Marxan input files in ArcGIS or QGIS
  • Setting Marxan parameters and calibration in Zonae Cogito
  • Understanding and presenting Marxan results in ArcGIS or QGIS
  • Metrics to evaluating Marxan solutions and scenarios
  • Brief introduction to Marxan with Zones

Typically this course is a 2 day course (a copy of a standard agenda can be accessed here). But we also offer 1 day courses, as well as Marxan training integrated with Marxan with Zones training.

Learning objective
To enable trainees to successfully use Marxan to solve spatial conservation planning problems.

Course pre-requisites
Participants need to have a basic knowledge of GIS and GIS software (ArcGIS or QGIS) to be able to complete the hands-on exercises.

Check for upcoming courses here

If you are interested in learning more about this workshops or help you organize one in your region, contact:
Norma Serra Sogas,
PacMARA Training Manager
Email: nserra(at)
Phone: +1 250 818 3220