Islands are the most scientifically tractable places for these studies and the Consortium began with one of the best known: Moorea, French Polynesia.
The Moorea IDEA will be a sustainability simulator modeling links and feedbacks between climate, environment, biodiversity, and human activities across a coupled marine–terrestrial landscape. As a model system, the resulting knowledge and tools will improve our ability to predict human and natural change on Moorea and elsewhere at scales relevant to management/conservation actions. In the future, other islands could join to form a network that shares the generally applicable tools and approaches generated by the IDEA Consortium. For example, we are already working with the nearby atoll Tetiaroa through Tetiaroa Society, which has launched the Tetiaroa IDEA to aid with its Conservation and Sustainable Use Plan. Further afield, and reflecting the ambition to scale to larger places, scientists and government officials from Crete have expressed a strong interest in the project. See Simulating Social-Ecological Systems: the Island Digital Ecosystem Avatars (IDEA) Consortium GigaScience 2016 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13742-016-0118-5