14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 156 4 7 2 Protected areas in the heart of Pilot Regions Most Pilot Regions are made up of several protected ar eas and other zones situated between and around these areas In almost all cases the protected area managing authorities for example the national park administra tions are acting as the coordinating and moderating institutions This approach is based on the considera tion that usually protected areas in the Pilot Regions have various distinguished links and interactions with the surrounding areas and relevant regional actors The Pilot Region approach was shown to be a sound way to bring cooperation and coordination between private and public actors forward Beyond support ing local implementations of individual conservation arrangements in almost all Pilot Regions networks could be built where measures management plans and projects between the cooperation partners were coordinated As a holistic approach it pays attention to other policy sectors like spatial development economic activities and infrastructure Ecological connectivity doesn t stop at administrative borders nor does it ex ist in protected areas only the Pilot Region approach takes this knowledge into account Pilot Regions allow the analysis of entire landscapes the matrix of the ter ritory as the research object by collaboratively using existing structures and data in these regions In order to support the Pilot Regions in their efforts to analyse and understand the speci c challenges con cerning ecological connectivity in their area and de ne actions for conservation and restoration an extensive planning process is proposed to them which includes detailed habitat mapping landscape modelling and the identi cation of the landscapes potential of connectiv ity to link important habitats and to ensure migration possibilities for particular species Moreover an intense dialogue with stakeholders and or landowners is rec ommended and various tools to support this govern ance process are offered During the ECONNECT project concrete measures to enhance ecological connectivity have been chosen by every Pilot Region thus showing that it is possible to improve ecological connectivity by targeted measures on the ground At the same time the results of the plan ning process will be a key element for further physical planning of the territory making sure that spaces not yet fragmented and important for migration of species Map 11 Official Alpine Convention Pilot Regions for Ecological Connectivity Pilot Region Major city Major river Water bodies Alpine Convention perimeter National border Of cial Pilot Regions for Ecological Connectivity

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