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, ongoing and projected economic growth in the Danube-Carpathian region tends to go hand in hand with poorly planned infrastructure development and urbanization, creating barriers for large carnivore corridors and leading to increased fragmentation of their habitats.

Photo © Michel Gunther/WWF

Spatial planners lack knowledge and experience to ensure that conflicts between development and nature conservation are minimized as they develop new plans. More importantly, legally binding mechanism taking into consideration the requirements of functioning ecological corridors is in place only in some countries, but poorly implemented, mainly because the lack of reliable data. The effects of fragmentation and creation of barriers to wildlife corridors require a coherent transnational answer due to the fact that large carnivores frequently move across state borders in search of food and mates.

The conflict between infrastructure development and wildlife conservation can be overcome by properly integrating both perspectives into infrastructure planning for the Carpathian region and actively involving varied stakeholders to find solutions with low impact on the environment.

→ The planned infrastructure developments threaten to cut through the movement corridors of large carnivores and numerous other species, thus leading to habitat fragmentation that seriously menaces their long-term well-being and survival

→ The economic development in Danube-Carpathian area leads to change of land use and creates barriers for wild species movements
→ Implementation of infrastructure projects faces the risk of being delayed due to non-conformity with safety and environmental standards. 

→ Securing a viable populations of the large carnivores in the Carpathians can maintain one of the largest biodiversity hotspots and functioning ecosystems on the continent
→ Maintaining or restoring ecological corridors, which are important for biodiversity, wildlife migration routes, stability and resilience of ecosystems, ecosystems services and regional prosperity
→ Accelerating the implementation processes and contributing to putting into practice much-awaited infrastructure developments.

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.

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

Restoring and managing ecological corridors in mountains as the green infrastructure in the Danube basin
Start date
End date
Budget in Euro
Overall: 2462923,53
ERDF Contribution: 1920592,41
IPA Contribution: 172892,55
ENI Contribution: 0
Call number
Call 2
Environment and culture responsible Danube region
Specific objective
Foster the restoration and management of ecological corridors


As soon as the project achieves an output, it will be published in this section. Check the project webpage for more information
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Project Partners

Name Type Email Country
WWF DCP Romania Lead partner ROMANIA
WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme ERDF partner AUSTRIA
Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic ERDF partner CZECH REPUBLIC
Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening ERDF partner CZECH REPUBLIC
CEEweb for Biodiversity ERDF partner HUNGARY
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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)