14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 125 Greening the economy is a new paradigm that glo bally emerges as knowledge and awareness about planetary boundaries and limits to natural resources increase According to UNEP s United Nations En vironment Programme widely used de nition a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon resource ef cient and socially inclusive Practically speaking a green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution enhance energy and re source ef ciency and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services An ecological network for the Alps that aims to link existing habitats and to provide new ones for Alpine species is an important tool to maintain biodiversity and to safeguard ecosystem services Besides a number of activities and measures related to ecological connectivity also have a potential to generate economic bene ts ECOTEC 2008 These measures can affect different socio economic sectors like education tourism spatial planning agriculture forestry water management etc They include the establishment of green infrastructure such as sh ladders green bridges hedges educational hiking trails etc Furthermore they incorporate numerous other activities across sectors for instance wetland restoration that safeguards water related biological functions and at the same time provides for other ecosystem services like ood prevention or nutrient retention Similarly afforestation measures can on the one hand contribute to developing corridors and stepping stones for species and on the other hand provide services like erosion control or water puri cation As such connectivity measures are often multi functional and affect diverse ecosystem services sometimes at different periods in time Apart from environmental effects connectivity measures can generate economic bene ts Nau man et al 2011 These may be realised in terms of i capital investments for infrastructure ii additional business or employment opportuni ties in different sectors planning counseling manufacturing iii reduced costs for example for water puri cation or ood control or iv the diver si cation or expansion of value added chains for instance in the tourism sector In order to further explore and to make better use of the synergies between connectivity measures and efforts to green the economy in the Alps the following actions should be taken More evidence is needed on economic bene ts and costs of con nectivity measures including the valuation of multiple ecosystem services Besides the narratives of best practices should be made available to depict the potential of linking connectivity to sustainable development Last but not least more awareness raising for utilising synergies and long term effects of ecological networking in the process of greening the economy is necessary to ultimately broaden the network of conservation actors Bettina HEDDEN DUNKHORST Federal Agency for Nature Conservation Division of International Nature Conserva tion Bonn Germany Yann KOHLER Alpine Network of Protected Areas ALPARC Chambéry France Box 6 The Contribution of ecological connectivity to greening the economy

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