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8 April 2020

Eco-Corridors 2.0

ConnectGREEN in the time of COVID-19.

By Hildegard Meyer

Social distancing has become the responsible way to go in the current times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adaptation, therefore, is a must. That is why the Interreg DTP ConnectGREEN project held its first online Project Partners (PP) and Steering Committee (SC) Meeting. Originally intended to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, the overall 4th PP & SC meeting gathered 44 participants last 31 March who were set to find the ways out to the new-born challenges to the implementation of some of the project’s activities due to the coronavirus context.

In that line and facing the incoming bans for personal meetings and bigger events, some project activities need to be adapted or moved to a later date. Others, such as desktop related activities or those that can be organised online, will continue as planned.

From the online PP meeting, the update on the methodology on the identification of ecological corridors showed how it is shaping due to a previously performed field testing and quality assessment. Based on modelling and fieldwork, the map of ecological corridors in the Carpathians got a substantial step forward. Currently, experts work on the critical zones for ecological corridors and spatial planning in the pilot areas, which will be the basis for the action plans for mitigating threats to corridors. Among others, the work comprises the collection of bear, lynx and wolf occurrence data, inventory of barriers, analysis of land use plans and meetings with stakeholders to discuss the findings.

Good news come from the thus-far smallest pilot area around Piatra Craiului National Park – Bucegi National Park. The pilot area will be extended towards the west to the Făgăras Mountains. Landowners and managers agreed to collaborate.

Despite the limitations due to the pandemic, field work had been addressed before the outbreak, allowing for operations of the project to continue for many deliverables.

The e-Corridors

Basic material was collected for the development of the Guidelines on reducing conflicts in corridor areas. The Guidelines will be offered as an interactive tool on the Carpathian Countries Integrated Biodiversity Information System online platform (CCIBIS).

Even more, the draft e-learning training tool on ecological corridors was presented during the online meeting. This tool is intended to help protected area practitioners and spatial planners. Also updated during the meeting was the strategy on ecological corridors in the Carpathians, which had been already introduced to and discussed with the representatives of the Carpathian Convention during an online meeting held on 10-11 March 2020.

Unfortunately, the IENE Conference, the Forum Carpaticum, the IUCN World Congress and others will be postponed. ConnectGREEN partners had been heavily involved for the preparation of presentations, posters, panel discussions and side events within the aforementioned. Nevertheless, ConnectGREEN project partners will look forward to the future opportunity to contribute to these important events at the Carpathian, European and global level.

In the meantime, the project’s immediate next steps include the development of a roadmap on how to address the current circumstances, what can be implemented in time — in a planned or adapted way — and what needs to be postponed. Be it on a physical manner or via online means, ConnectGREEN partners will continue its hard work to render forward the much-needed results Carpathian eco-corridors require.

25 February 2020

Sowing the future

Possibilities, obstacles and recommendations for a low-carbon and sustainable Hungarian agriculture in times of climate change


5 February 2020

Food (waste) for thought

In a time where 815 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, one third of the food we produce is wasted.


28 January 2020

The call of the wild

European wildlife is roaring for attention: a policy brief for the EU Biodiversity Strategy post-2020


13 January 2020

Climate Exchange

In 2017, Hungary’s agricultural sector emitted 7.34 million tonnes of greenhouse gases, confirming an ever-increasing trend since 2012. To start tackling this problem, CEEweb is organising on 30 January the EUKI 2nd National Workshop “Agriculture and Climate Change – Potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.” Register and join us!

The biggest threat humankind currently faces comes in two words: Climate Change. Very well-known concept, still very little action regarding it. The European Environmental Agency recently published the report European Environment – State and Outlook 2020 (SOER 2020), sounding the alarm that, for the upcoming decade, Europe is meant to face persistent problems in areas such as biodiversity loss, resource use, climate change impacts and environmental risks to health and well-being. And in this line, agriculture is one of the activities in the EU that continues to produce harmful emissions to both ecosystems and human health.

Moreover, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has stated that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farming, livestock-raising, fisheries and forestry continue to rise. Hungary is not an exception: FAO’s food and agriculture database, FAOSTAT, has measured a growing trend in GHG emissions in the Magyar country from agricultural activities, reaching its highest peak in 15 years in 2017, with the sector having emitted 7.34 million tonnes of GHG.

According to FAOSTAT, Hungarian agricultural GHG emissions have not but increased on a yearly basis since 2012.


Looking to tackle this trend, CEEweb for Biodiversity, as part of the activities of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) funded project An Unavoidable Step After Paris: Cutting Emissions from Farming, is organising the EUKI 2nd National Workshop “Agriculture and climate change – Potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.” The workshop will serve to discuss with the relevant stakeholders the possibilities for reducing GHG emissions from agriculture and food production, addressing examples of alternative ways of farming, innovative technologies and the enablement of adequate policies.

Presentation themes

  • Agriculture and climate change – Challenges and opportunities
  • Agroforestry and agroecological systems
  • How agricultural policies (on EU and national level) could better serve climate mitigation?
  • Regenerative agriculture in practice
  • Innovative plant nutrition technologies with benefits for the climate
  • Nutrient management and GHG emissions
  • The present and future of agricultural emissions’ reduction efforts in Hungary (the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture’s approach)

The workshop, which will be delivered in Hungarian language only, will target agricultural and rural development experts, farmers, researchers, environmental professionals, NGO representatives, academicians, representatives of the agricultural industry, and the general public with an interest in finding solutions to climate change and to harmful agricultural practices.

What is it there to learn?

Participants will be able to understand the interlinked and often challenging nature and interdependence of agriculture and the environment — including climate — as well as how current and future agricultural policies (e.g. measures, subsidies) can contribute to reducing agricultural GHG emissions.

Thus, attendants will get the most relevant and up-to-date information on information on alternative agricultural approaches and practices — including new technologies and innovations — that may efficiently support a low-emission, sustainable agriculture.


The project “An Unavoidable Step After Paris: Cutting Emissions from Farming” aims for an increased public and political awareness around the need for an ambitious legislative framework on climate and agriculture. It wishes to achieve these goals through knowledge sharing and inclusive stakeholders’ dialogue. The project also incorporates a policy analysis, assessing to what extent farming currently contributes to GHG emissions, its potential towards climate mitigation and what role the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays in it and should play in the future.

This study and policy assessments will then feed into dialogues between key stakeholders (farmers, NGOs, scientists, industry, etc.) at national and pan-European levels on climate-friendly practices in order to facilitate the sharing of experiences. Through national and European workshops and subsequent communications work, an increased public and political awareness around the need for an ambitious legislative framework on climate and agriculture (i.e. national plans, governance and CAP) is going to be created.

19 December 2019

EU Fahrenheit 451

The latest report of the European Environmental Agency puts things into fiery perspective. The upcoming environmental challenges are unprecedented, and EU members must make a paradigm shift and invest into a sustainable future.


18 December 2019

Into the Carpathian Convention

Joy to the world, ConnectGREEN has come. Let the Carpathian Convention receive its strategy.


6 December 2019

A presence to BEAR in mind

The mountains of the Aggtelek National Park seem to be becoming the must-pass-through destination for Carpathian large carnivores: after the recently spotted wolf pack, now it’s time for the brown bear. Get to know the new visitor!


22 August 2019

Winter is coming!

Time to howl! Check out the wolf pack recently recorded by a wildlife camera trap in Aggtelek National Park!


5 August 2019

CEEweb Academy 2019

CEEweb Academy 2019

Making cities flourish: Building urban communities through biodiversity initiatives

28-30 October 2019

Register here!

The annual CEEweb Academy will hit your brains this year on 28-30 October, focusing on urban biodiversity and citizen engagement! Don’t miss this opportunity to dig in these issues with an array of international speakers and an approach to successful citizen initiatives from the region and participate to it! We will shortly open registrations!

Preliminary Programme

  • Conference
  • Workshop
  • Walkshop
  • CEEweb Annual Meeting


Making cities flourish: Building urban communities through biodiversity initiatives

Urban areas are by their nature lower on biodiversity and natural areas, and as such are usually treated as “problem areas.” However, urban living can help cut down or reverse the loss of natural areas and help reduce transportation distances. In addition, they possess a wealth of still largely untapped resources: people, communities, willingness for cooperation, knowledge and goodwill. There is increasing recognition that instead of seeing cities as problems, urban areas can become part of the solution.

What is people’s perception, knowledge of biodiversity and what are their concerns? What opportunities and difficulties exist for local initiatives in the Central and Eastern European region? What have been successful strategies? How to build a good public engagement strategy? How to communicate complex topics and the many benefits of biodiversity effectively?

The Annual CEEweb Academy will center around urban biodiversity and citizens’ engagement. It will showcase solutions and good examples of complex urban biodiversity projects that get local residents on board. It will offer the opportunity to learn and develop skills for citizens’ effective engagement.

Citizen Science at its best: students from South Minneapolis help monitor water clarity in Minnehaha Creek for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as part of their fifth grade science class. Photo: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0.