14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 167 conservation and monitoring of wildlife species and their habitats Further transboundary collaboration is recognised as a priority especially in the elaboration of common transboundary management plans focusing on connectivity issues Forests are the dominant natu ral ecosystem in the area and forestry will therefore have an important role When thinking of forest management it is probably also important to think of non forestry activities that take place in forests and that can affect biodiversity and ecological connectivity such as recreational activities wildlife management and more How do these get considered in forest management planning In Slovenia as well as in most Central European coun tries the integrative approach in forest management is practiced where different management objectives can be realised by overlapping uses in the same forest area Nature conservation is generally integrated in forest management representing a principle to which management objectives should be subordinated Pos sible management alternatives are therefore reduced to more ecologically acceptable forms In forests where forest management is primarily oriented towards na ture conservation for example forest reserves protec tive forests national parks Natura 2000 sites and eco system restoration biodiversity preservation and eco logical connectivity can also be seen as an additional or special management objective To optimise all relevant objectives and reduce nega tive effects on forest biodiversity and ecological con nectivity careful planning and monitoring are needed Within the management planning procedure the num ber and hierarchy of management objectives are set through a participatory process and different sets of ac tivities are elaborated to ensure sustainability of forests for selected uses Important tools to prevent negative effects of timber production and other forest based activities on biodiversity are the spatial and tempo ral coordination of forest activities some additional limitations on forest use such as the prohibition of activities during particular times of year and some special measures such as leaving habitat trees and a certain amount of dead wood in the forests creating key habitats planting tree species with fruits that are important food sources for wildlife and more The careful assessment of acceptability of encroach ments into forest areas is another important tool to prevent negative effects on ecological connectivity What would you say is the most important con sideration if the goal is to maintain or re create ecological connectivity The most important consideration to maintain and ensure biodiversity and ecological connectivity of larger forest areas landscape national level is how to integrate nature conservation into regular man agement practice In the areas where biodiversity and ecological connectivity prevail a management objective of close to nature forestry and a cogni tive approach with constant monitoring planning and evaluation of realised measures could be most appropriate Beyond that some speci c measures are also important to improve habitat suitability for speci c species Usually these measures are not considered as a part of regular forest management and therefore they should be especially in private forests well communicated and supported by dif ferent nancial instruments for example state EU In countries where nature oriented forest manage ment is regularly practiced ensuring ecological connectivity and biodiversity in forest areas is gen erally not problematic More important is how the landscape is managed where and to what extent encroachments into forest space will be allowed and how they will fragment the forest matrix As some encroachments are necessary for the development of regions and even states for example infrastruc ture we cannot completely avoid them In that case encroachments upon the natural landscape must be supported with special measures to re create eco logical connectivity for example wildlife crossings arti cial corridors It would be important that these measures are part of the investment project These activities usually go beyond the forestry profession and must be coordinated intersectorally

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