14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 129 By raising awareness of the topic and giving concrete examples of how an improvement of the situation is feasible the respective target group are being moti vated to take action and contribute to an ecological network in the Alps The example of the Pilot Region Workshop in Val Müstair illustrates how the implementation process can be started in a region Scheurer et al 2008 follow ing the three recommended steps Since 2008 different measures have already been implemented in the Pilot Region Rhaetian Triangle including the restoration of connectivity in dry grassland habitats involving local schools and river management improvement on the Rombach river An Alpine database offers the possibility to search for expertise on speci c topics linked to ecological connectivity www alpine ecological network org information services experts If Pilot Regions or other stakeholders involved in a connectivity initiative need scienti c or technical advice they may nd a compe tent expert in this pool of contacts regularly updated by the Swiss Academy of Sciences A large group of these experts has also worked together on an inno vative scienti c experiment to de ne the 50 most important questions on ecological connectivity in the Alps see chapter 4 5 4 1 3 Awareness raising and communication Connectivity is a crucial element of biodiversity How ever the ideas concepts and notions that are behind connectivity can be dif cult for the general public and certain stakeholders to grasp Moreover these people sometimes turn a blind eye to some of the ac tors that are essential in ensuring that connectivity is safeguarded Therefore communication is strategically important to explain why connectivity is important People who realise the signi cance of connectivity will be more easily moved to action On the one hand making the general public more aware of the importance of connectivity and how it relates to biodiversity as a whole can help create a fa vourable environment for the connectivity activities that are underway at the different levels from local to international On the other hand targeted communica tion can help bring about the conditions for stakehold ers politicians and planners to make more concerned and connectivity conducive decisions As the previous chapters have shown ecological net works can only be successfully implemented if many different actors contribute to this shared objective Communication and awareness raising are indispen sable to explain to all these actors the importance of ecological connectivity and the role they can play to improve it Different communication tools have been developed to accomplish this Public information material like the publication Restoring the web of life explains this especially to non experts in an easily understandable way On websites and by means of newsletters and other pub lications the Alpine actors give up to date informa tion on what they are doing Central homepages like Underpath for amphibians in the Pilot Region Isère France

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