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Safeguarding the functionality of transnationally important ecological corridors in the Danube basin

Photo credit: Ratislav Stanik

SaveGREEN is set to work on the critical theme of ecological corridors in the Carpathian and further mountain ranges of the Danube region. Currently, eco-corridors are threatened by the lack of adequate planning of economic development initiatives. Linear transport infrastructure, urban development, intensive agricultural, forestry, and water management practices can interrupt ecological corridors, cause traffic-deaths, and lower the reproductive success of key species and the effectiveness of ecosystem services we all depend on.

Therefore, building on the key results of previous Interreg DTP projects — i.e. TRANSGREEN, ConnectGREEN and HARMON — the SaveGREEN project will identify, collect, and promote the best solutions for safeguarding ecological corridors — including monitoring the impact of mitigation measures. Thus, basing its work on integrated planning, it will help derive proper recommendations for follow-up actions and policy design.

Pilot Areas

1) Kobernausser forest (Austria)

2) Pöttsching (Austria)

3) Beskydy-Kysuce (Czech-Slovak cross-border area)

4) Novohrad-Nógrád (Slovak-Hungarian cross-border area)

5) Zakarpattia region (Ukraine)

6) Mures valley (Arad-Deva, Romania)

7) Mures valley (Târgu Mureş-Târgu Neamţ, Romania)

8) Rila-Verila-Kraisthe corridor (Bulgaria)


  • Development of a standardised monitoring methodology for structural and functional connectivity, including an application toolbox for the monitoring of structural and functional connectivity for field experts.
  • Development of a capacity-building programme for public authorities and key stakeholders on how to integrate Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA), and cost-benefit analysis into the project planning processes.
  • Development of cross-sectoral operational plans to safeguard the functionality of ecological corridors in the pilot areas engaging relevant stakeholders of the specific pilot areas and the national level.
  • Implementation of selected actions of the local cross-sectoral operational plans.
  • Support the mainstreaming of ecological connectivity into EU and global policies through cooperation among macro-regional strategies (i.e. EUSDR and the Carpathian Convention).
  • Development of recommendations towards the integration of mitigation measures/GI into sectoral policy and decision making.
  • Strengthening of cross-sectoral cooperation among key players, promotion of project results in the Danube basin and beyond, and capacity building at the national level.

CEEweb’s Role

Within the project, CEEweb for Biodiversity is the Communications Leader and coordinates all communications related tasks and products.

Besides that, we are the Hungarian focal point for the project, and have moreover the task to internationally disseminate all policy related outcomes. On the fieldline, we will organise pilot territorial capacity building activities, lead the formation of the local working group, and provide maintenance, managerial and logistical support.

Finally, we will also work on the provision of basic data and professional support in the areas of nature protection, forestry, game management, water management, agriculture, and landscape and spatial planning for the documents being prepared.

Main expected results

The local cross-sectoral operational plans developed with stakeholder groups — for at least seven locations across seven countries in the Danube region — will present innovative and integrated solutions for increasing ecological functionality in the respective areas.

The developed monitoring method applied in the pilot areas will create knowledge and lessons learnt for the improvement of the management of crossing structures and their surrounding land use.

The participatory approach for development will create ownership by those who have the power to implement the plans. Moreover, stakeholder groups in the pilot areas will benefit from the uptake of learnings from other pilot areas with complementary foci (e.g. agriculture, forestry, water management) and results of the ConnectGREEN and TRANSGREEN projects at the transnational level.

At the policy level, the new national programmes for the disbursement of EU funds will include financial allocations for environmental measures.


Title: Safeguarding the functionality of transnationally important ecological corridors in the Danube basin

Website: interreg-danube.eu/savegreen

Duration: 1 July 2020 – 31 December 2022

Funding: € 2 756 617.57

Donor: Interreg Danube Transnational Programme

Project Coordinator: WWF Central and Eastern Europe

Project Partners:

  • Austria: Environment Agency Austria.
  • Bulgaria: Black Sea NGO Network; Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation.
  • Czech Republic: Friends of the Earth, Olomouc branch; Transport Research Centre.
  • Hungary: CEEweb for Biodiversity; Szent Istvan University.
  • Romania: Zarand Association;  EPC Environmental Consulting Ltd.; WWF Romania.
  • Slovakia: WWF Slovakia; Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava – SPECTRA Centre of Excellence of EU.

Associated Partners:

  • Austria: Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology.
  • Bulgaria: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry- Executive Forest Agency; Southwestern State Enterprise SE – Blagoevgrad.
  • Czech Republic: Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic; Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic .
  • France: Infrastructure and Ecology Network Europe (IENE).
  • Germany: Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection.
  • Greece: EGNATIA ODOS S.A.
  • Hungary: NIF National Infrastructure Developing Private Company Limited; Ministry of Agriculture; Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate.
  • Romania: Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests; Ministry of Public Works, Development and Administration; Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications.
  • Slovakia: State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic; Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic; Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic; National Motorway Company
  • Ukraine: M.P. Shulgin State Road Research Institute State Enterprise – DerzhdorNDI SE; Department of Ecology and Nature Resources of Zakarpattia Oblast Administration.