14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 127 4 1 Methods and tools for connectivity implementation in the Alps Yann KOHLER Alpine Network of Protected Areas ALPARC Chambéry France The Alpine vision for a mountain massif spanning ecological network is one of an enduringly restored and maintained ecological continuum consisting of interconnected landscapes where biodiversity will be conserved for future generations and the resilience of ecological processes will be enhanced Belardi et al 2011 In order to make this vision reality particular methodological procedures responding to the Alpine speci cs had to be de ned at the outset and based on this fundamental conceptual framework some tailor made tools were developed and promoted in order to achieve a shared pan Alpine approach for ecological connectivity implementation 4 1 1 Methodological approach Implementing an ecological network is a long term and complex task No global recipe exists that explains how this can be successfully done According to the individual context scale and objectives different meth ods can be applied Nature conservation and spatial planning are the elds that have the highest involvement in the creation of ecological networks The ecological network concept is becoming a framework that facilitates synergy be tween protection of biodiversity and sustainable social and economic development It applies at different geographical scales from local to international Ap proaches by countries or regions in designing ecologi cal networks differ depending on their historical tradi tion in land planning as well as on their biogeographi cal context In 2002 WWF ALPARC CIPRA and ISCAR made a pro posal regarding how regions with a high biodiversity can be connected among one another on a pan Alpine scale Arduino et al 2006 With its study Transbound ary Ecological Network in 2004 and the following seminar Establishment of an ecological network of protected areas in 2005 ALPARC put the focus on the role of protected areas for the creation of an ecologi cal network across the Alps Kohler Plassmann 2004 Kohler 2005 On a smaller scale and where data was available the Swiss approach of the National Ecological Network had been identi ed as a possible option Berthoud et al 2004 In some Alpine regions initiatives based on this approach have been implemented Michelot et al 2015 Nevertheless a shared trans Alpine approach based on this methodology has proved impossible due to lack of necessary data At the continental level the Pan European Ecological Network is promoted by the Council of Europe Bon nin et al 2007 The Ecological Continuum Initiative assessed these different approaches and explained in what contexts each of the approaches could be helpful Scheurer et al 2009 After the emergence of ecological connectivity as a key topic for nature protection on a pan Alpine level in 2004 some regions have been particularly motivated to contribute to the realisation of functioning ecologi cal networks A study commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation shows how Pilot Regions as territories to test connectivity imple mentation measures and methods could be appointed based on objective criteria Righetti Wegelin 2009 For the implementation of the pan Alpine ecological network the partners that were involved in the rst large scale international Alpine project ECONNECT have nalised a common methodology ECONNECT 2010 based on the earlier ndings by the Ecologi cal Continuum Initiative Methodology assessment from Scheurer et al 2011 Guidelines for Pilot Regions in Scheurer Kohler 2008 The proposed procedure serves as an implementation guideline for the activi ties in the Alpine Pilot Regions It is structured in three main steps each comprising several activities 1 Preparation contact with stakeholders organisation 2 Target setting and analysis selecting priority activities 3 Detailed planning and realisation of the identi ed activities in the Pilot Regions The rst step includes the identi cation of the main stakeholders and the establishment of a participa tion and cooperation process in the Pilot Region This

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