ConnectGREEN Restoring and managing ecological corridors in mountains as the green infrastructure in the Danube basin

The Danube-Carpathian region is one of Europe´s last remaining strongholds for the large carnivore species: gray wolf, Eurasian lynx and brown bear, protected under EU law. Unfortunately, the planned infrastructure developments threaten to cut through the movement corridors of large carnivores and increase the fragmentation of their habitats.


Photo © Michel Gunther/WWF

Very few spatial planners have the knowledge and experience to ensure that conflicts between development and nature conservation are minimized as they develop new plans. More importantly, legally binding mechanisms taking into consideration the requirements of functioning ecological corridors is poorly implemented, mainly because of the lack of reliable data. These effects require a coherent transnational approach as the large carnivores frequently move across state borders in search of food, mates or other needs.

Thorough ConnectGREEN project, partners from different countries and various fields of activity (spatial planning, research, government, biodiversity conservation) joined forces to increase the capacity of ecological corridors identification and management and to overcome the conflict between infrastructure development and wildlife conservation. Valuable knowledge and experience will be made available to spatial planners and vice versa for finding the best ways to develop infrastructure and other plans in order secure  ecological connectivity in the Carpathians.

Maintaining or restoring ecological corridors will secure a viable population of large carnivores in the Carpathians and maintain one of the largest biodiversity hotspots and functioning ecosystems on the continent. Moreover, this new joint approach is meant to accelerate the implementation processes and put into practice much-awaited infrastructure developments that faces the risk of being delayed due to non-conformity with safety and environmental standards.

Long term solutions for wildlife movements

The main objective of the project for the next 3 years (2018 - 2021) is to maintain, respectively improve the ecological connectivity between natural habitats, especially between Natura 2000 sites and other protected areas of transnational relevance in the Carpathian ecoregion, namely in Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine.



Specifically, the project aims at:

→ Developing innovative solutions and guidance to identify ecological corridors and connectivity gaps in a harmonized way across the Carpathian ecoregion to maintain long-term, cross-border wildlife movement, associated ecosystem services and a high level of biodiversity in the region.

→ Engaging protected area and Natura 2000 site managers, conservationists, spatial planners and other key stakeholders in an integrated approach for strengthening the capacity for identifying and managing ecological corridors.

→ Reconciling nature conservation and spatial planning and development in ecological corridors and Natura 2000 sites by identifying and implementing strategic directions and instruments and practices.

The ecological corridors will be identified in more detail by using the new Carpathian-wide methodology in 4 transnationally relevant pilot sites: 1. Piatra Craiului National Park (Romania); 2. Apuseni-SW Carpathians (Romania)/ National Park Djerdap (Serbia); 3. Western Carpathians (Czech Republic - Slovakia) and 4. Bükk National Park (Hungary)/ Cerová vrchovina Protected Landscape Area (Slovakia).

You can support this process by prioritizing biodiversity in the list of environmental criteria, by participating in consultations and by sharing the knowledge.

 
   
 
 
 
 
Start date
01-06-2018
End date
31-05-2021
Budget in Euro
Overall: 2462923,53
ERDF Contribution: 1920592,41
IPA Contribution: 172892,55
ENI Contribution: 0
Call number
Call 2
Priority
Environment and culture responsible Danube region
Specific objective
Foster the restoration and management of ecological corridors

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Project Partners

Name Type Email Country
WWF DCP Romania Lead partner cpapp@wwfdcp.ro ROMANIA
WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme ERDF partner hmeyer@wwfdcp.org AUSTRIA
Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic ERDF partner martin.strnad@nature.cz CZECH REPUBLIC
Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening ERDF partner romportl@vukoz.cz CZECH REPUBLIC
CEEweb for Biodiversity ERDF partner zolyomi@ceeweb.org HUNGARY
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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)