14 2 5 3 80 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come Measures in favour of ecological connectivity along a highway in the Alps Carpathians Corridor area visited by the members of the Platform Ecological Network projects for example recharge green Balancing Al pine Energy and Nature and greenAlps Connecting Mountains People Nature In parallel several trans boundary connectivity related projects also co funded in part by the EU as well as national and regional Alpine initiatives were carried out The Platform sup ports project activities in different aspects as analytical observers or by promoting the distribution and imple mentation of their results ECONNECT worked with a set of Pilot Regions in order to test connectivity measures and instruments developed within the framework of the project Each Pilot Region consisted of a protected area and its sur roundings and most of them were transboundary To recognise the achievements of the Pilot Regions and to encourage other regions to strengthen ecological connectivity in their territory the Platform decided to develop and set up a mechanism to nominate Pilot Regions of Ecological Connectivity of the Alpine Con vention Subsequently eight regions have been nomi nated and further regions are invited to become part of the network that supports implementation at local to regional levels Being linked to these levels also helps to ground the Platform s work 2 6 3 Added value This publication apart from demonstrating the activi ties and results reached in more than ten years of ef forts to foster ecological connectivity in the Alps also illustrates that establishing an ecological network in the Alpine space is a stepwise process that requires constant adaptations and the involvement of many actors and institutions at different levels In this con text the Platform Ecological Network apart from the above mentioned contributions adds value by linking policy science and implementation This pro vides an opportunity to channel knowledge research results experiences and policy proposals to decision makers Moreover because the Platform is part of the Alpine Convention the multi national level can be reached which is speci cally important in the context of ecological connectivity as species require habitats and migration corridors across borders The Platform also facilitates linkage to related initiatives beyond the Alps for example EU Green Infrastructure the Green Belt Initiative the Convention on Biological Diversity the Carpathian Convention and more and thereby enhances exchange of expertise and mutual learning Last but not least not being a project with a limited life span but rather an entity in the framework of an inter national treaty is a clear advantage of the Platform It guarantees continuity in the process of establishing an ecological network 2 6 4 Looking ahead Exploring further opportunities However making better use of added values is still a challenge for the Platform particularly as human re sources are limited and Platforms or Working Groups of the Alpine Convention are not endowed with nancial resources New opportunities are expected from the Convention s efforts to foster coopera tion between its Platforms and Working Groups and thereby support a more holistic and less sectoral ap proach This is of particular relevance for the Platform Ecological Network that by working on a cross cut ting topic relates to a number of subjects elaborated in various Platforms and Working Groups of the Con vention for example large carnivores wild ungulates and society transport natural hazards water man agement agriculture forestry sustainable tourism Opportunities also arise from the Convention s efforts to promote a green economy in the Alps as measures to advance an ecological network address various eco nomic sectors and at the same time have a potential to contribute to a greening of the economy The re cently established EU Macroregional Strategy for the Alpine Region EUSALP creates additional opportuni ties to promote the development of an ecological net work in and beyond the Alps particularly because an Action Group on connectivity has been put in place This may also open up further EU funding sources and invites new actors to foster the process

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