The official launch of the ConnectGREEN project enjoyed a vivid presence at the kick-off event hosted by WWF Romania in Bucharest, 20’th of November. Around 80 key stakeholders at international level and project partners from the Danube-Carpathian region joined to discuss different topics related to the main objective of the project: restoring and managing ecological corridors in Carpathian Mountains while minimising the conflicts between infrastructure/regional development and nature conservation.
- Developing innovative solutions and guidance to identify ecological corridors in a harmonized way across the Carpathian eco-region.
- Minimising conflicts between nature conservation and spatial planning
- Engaging key stakeholders as protected area managers, conservationists and spatial planners in an integrated approach for strengthening the capacity to identify and manage ecological corridors.
The planned infrastructure developments in the Danube-Carpathian region threaten to cut through the movement corridors of large carnivores and increase the fragmentation of their habitats.
Very few spatial planners have the 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 poorly implemented, mainly because the lack of reliable data. These effects require a coherent transnational answer as the large carnivores frequently move across state borders in search of food and mates.
Through the ConnectGREEN project, partners from different countries and various fields of activity (spatial data planning, research, government, conservation) joined forces to increase the capacity of ecological corridors identification and to overcome the conflict between infrastructure development and wildlife conservation. Valuable knowledge and experience will be made available to spatial planners for adjusting their new infrastructure plans to the ecological connectivity requirements.
Maintaining or restoring ecological corridors will secure viable populations of the large carnivores in the Carpathians and maintain one of the largest biodiversity hotspots and functioning ecosystems on the continent. Moreover, this new joint approach is meant to accelerate the implementation processes and put into practice much-awaited infrastructure developments that faces the risk of being delayed due to non-conformity with safety and environmental standards.
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.
The ecological corridors will be identified in more detail by using the new Carpathian-wide methodology in 4 transnationally relevant pilot sites: 1. Piatra Craiului National Park (Romania); 2. Apuseni-SW Carpathians (Romania)/ National Park Djerdap (Serbia); 3. Western Carpathians (Czech Republic - Slovakia) and 4. Bükk National Park (Hungary)/ Cerová vrchovina Protected Landscape Area (Slovakia).
You can support this process by prioritizing biodiversity in the list of environmental criteria, by participating in consultations and by sharing the knowledge.
Project website: http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/connectgreen
Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia is the representative of the Republic of Serbia within the INTERREG international research project “Improving Capacities for Enhancing Territorial Attractiveness of the Danube Region”, project acronym “ATTRACTIVE DANUBE“. This project, which is financed from the Danube Transnational Programme, has gathered 19 partners from thirteen countries of the Danube Region: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Czech Republic.
In the period 2017-2019, this project will enable enhancing of institutional capacities for a strategic planning and improvement of territorial development governance at all governance levels in 13 countries of the Danube Region, as well as their transnational cooperation, with the aim to enhance attractiveness of this whole region, likewise of the individual countries.
During the first year of the “ATTRACTIVE DANUBE“ project, the goal is to elaborate for each country the Common Territorial Attractiveness Monitoring Platform, which is built on relevant past research, and to set up the Common Monitoring Platform for the Danube Region. Information Monitoring Platform should be tailor made to the various sectors’ needs and should facilitate coordination of their planning and governance decisions from the perspective of enhancing territorial attractiveness for development. With that in view, for the process of elaboration of the Common National Territorial Attractiveness Monitoring Platform, it is planned to include representatives of relevant stakeholders which are involved and have the influence on adopting and implementation of decision on territorial development in the domain of spatial planning, regional development, tourism, environmental protection, and other sectors which incorporate to, or which are influenced by quality and attractiveness of the national space as well as of the Danube Region.
Call for Papers: SPATIUM, the Journal of the Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia (IAUS):
SPATIUM International Review is a double blind peer-reviewed journal which is concerned with a multi-disciplinary approach to spatial, regional and urban planning and architecture, as well as with various aspects of land use, including housing, environment and related themes and topics. It attempts to contribute to better theoretical understanding of a new spatial development processes and to improve the practice in the field.
Deadlines for contributions (original, unpublished work, up to 5,000 words):
31st March and 30th September
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Further details on instructions for authors regarding the paper submission you will find here.
Previous numbers of Spatium can be freely accessed at: