Home » News » A Carpathian eco-connectivity

5 October 2018

A Carpathian eco-connectivity

Overblown development plans on infrastructure are threatening one of the brown bears last remaining strongholds: the Danube-Carpathian region. (Credit: Vittorio Ricci)

The ConnectGREEN project just launched to tackle the conflicts between infrastructure development and wildlife conservation in the Carpathian ecoregion.

Quick quiz for the biodiversity savvy: what do brown bears, grey wolves and Eurasian lynxes have in common? They are all large carnivores? Yes. They are species protected under EU law? That too. They are animals that you should definitely not taunt? Unless you want to become part of their diet, most certainly not. And what about the Danube-Carpathian region being one of their last remaining strongholds? Indeed, and concerningly so: the region currently faces overblown development plans on infrastructure and urbanization, threatening to create barriers on the corridors of these large carnivores and to increase the fragmentation of their habitats. Fortunately, CEEweb for Biodiversity, along 23 partners from 9 countries, is now working on a solution via the ConnectGREEN project.

Funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, ConnectGREEN will tackle the existing conflict between infrastructure development and wildlife conservation by integrating both perspectives with a sustainable infrastructure planning approach for the Carpathian region. Therefore, for the next 3 years (2018-2021) the project will push to improve the connectivity between natural habitats in Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine.

Thus, by engaging protected areas and Natura 2000 sites managers, conservationists, spatial planners and other key stakeholders of the Carpathian ecoregion, ConnectGREEN will address spatial planning and development for ecological corridors by identifying and implementing strategic directions and instruments and practices. The project will develop solutions and guidance to identify the connectivity gaps in these corridors and achieve a long-term, cross-border wildlife movement, while securing viable populations of the large carnivores in the Carpathians to maintain one of the largest biodiversity hotspots and functioning ecosystems on the continent. And not only that: it will also help accelerate the implementation processes of much-awaited infrastructure development.

CEEweb for Biodiversity will be leading the policy and networks related tasks of the project, which ultimate output will be the elaboration of a Strategy on Ecological Corridors, envisaged for adoption at the 6th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the Carpathian Convention, to be held in 2020. CEEweb will aim to embed the project’s outputs into policies and to seek for the acceptance and use of the resulting guidelines and tools by nature conservation and spatial planning professionals in their respective countries. Moreover, a transferability study will be prepared and shared with other mountain protected area networks for adaptability and replicability purposes.

If you are interested in this project, you can support this process by participating in our consultations and by sharing the knowledge.



Gabriella Nagy (Project Coordinator, CEEweb for Biodiversity): gabriella.nagy@nullceeweb.org

Thor Morante (Communications Coordinator, CEEweb for Biodiversity): tmorante@nullceeweb.org