The Horizon Europe NaturaConnect project is a four-year project launched in July 2022 to support the European Union's ambitious strategy for protected areas under the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. The project, led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, brings together 21 partner institutions to develop knowledge, tools, and capacity building programs to help EU member states implement an ecologically representative, resilient, and well-connected trans-European nature network (TEN-N). The project aims to address major obstacles to the implementation of the EU's biodiversity strategy, including a lack of stakeholder awareness and cooperation, insufficient knowledge, and access to existing funding mechanisms, and limited availability of knowledge on biodiversity distribution, drivers of change, and conservation solutions. Through research, engagement, and dissemination activities at the European scale and in a set of six case studies, the project will elicit stakeholders' visions and preferences, tap into best practices in protected areas management and funding mechanisms, mobilize data, and test the TEN-N spatial prioritization analyses and tools produced by NaturaConnect. The NaturaConnect consortium aims to provide policy guidelines, identify financial support, and engage stakeholders at different levels in developing spatial planning and mapping support tools to establish multifunctional corridors across Europe. The project seeks to expand protected areas, establish ecological corridors, and other areas of connectivity to address gaps in protected area coverage, connectivity, and resilience under climate and land-use change. The project will refine and apply state-of-the-art models on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and environmental change across Europe and under current and future climate and land-use to identify gaps and develop scenarios for expanding protected areas. Overall, the NaturaConnect project is an important effort to support the EU's biodiversity strategy and to develop tools and knowledge to better connect, manage and conserve protected areas in Europe.
- NaturaConnect brings together a consortium of 21 partner institutions, including top European scientists, policy experts, and NGOs, to produce and mobilize relevant data and knowledge for implementing an ecologically representative, resilient, and well-connected trans-European nature network (TEN-N).
- Through research, engagement, and dissemination activities, NaturaConnect seeks to address major obstacles identified by the EU Nature Legislation Fitness Check, including a lack of stakeholder awareness and cooperation, insufficient knowledge and access to existing funding mechanisms, and limited availability of knowledge on biodiversity distribution, drivers of change, and conservation solutions.
- NaturaConnect will develop spatial planning and mapping support tools, provide baseline data and scenario projections, identify financial support, and best practice policy guidelines, and engage stakeholders at different levels to create adequate training courses for decision-makers, spatial planners, and protected area managers.
Total cost- € 9 709 202,75 EU Funding- € 9 709 202,75 EU Contribution- 100%
- Ensure active participation and engagement of stakeholders at all levels, including civil society, in the co-design and implementation of the project to increase stakeholder awareness and cooperation.
- Promote knowledge sharing and collaboration among partner institutions to improve the mobilization of relevant data and knowledge for the implementation of the trans-European nature network (TEN-N).
- Utilize best practices in protected areas management and funding mechanisms to ensure the successful implementation and long-term sustainability of the project.
- Regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of the project to identify areas for improvement and adjust project activities accordingly.