Marxan for non-technical users

Non-technical introductions to Marxan and Marxan with Zones workshops aim to provide a high-level background on marine and terrestrial systematic conservation and land/sea use planning, and cover the questions of when, where, and why to use Marxan and other decision support tools. The interactive and discussion-based workshop also covers key approaches and tools, stakeholder considerations, and planning with uncertainty. We highlight and explain essential elements of successful planning processes, provide case studies of initiatives around the world, and lead a discussion on approaches and good practices as well as managerial-level experience for systematic conservation and land/marine use planning.

This is NOT a hands-on technical course.

The following topics are discussed during these workshops:

  • When is Marxan / MwZ the right tool? When is it not?
  • What questions do these tools address?
  • What inputs are required?
  • What outputs are generated?
  • Communication of outputs and integrating them into planning and decision-making
  • Integrating socio-economic and environmental concerns in analyses – what approaches can be applied using these tools, what are the data requirements to implement them?
  • Managing expectations – How far can these tools go in helping difficult decisions regarding trade-offs between stakeholder groups?

Workshops can be to the specific interests, mandates, and problems of the group. Workshops can also be combined with 2-3 day hands-on Introduction to Marxan courses, or one-day less technical explorations of the software.

Learning objective 1 (for managers) is to equip managers to understand what Marxan and Marxan with Zones can and cannot do, so they can better manage technical staff, and design processes that integrate the use of these tools in efficient ways.

Learning objective 2 (for managers) is to remove the ‘black box’ reputation that these decision support tools occasionally suffer from, and help non-technical people understand that they are based on relatively straightforward principles.

Learning objective 3 (for technicians) is to provide context for technical staff that are or will be carrying out analyses using these tools, to help them understand the situations in which they should or should not invest time in using them.

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