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The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

Cheryl de Boer, Hans

Cheryl de Boer, Hans Bressers RIVER RENATURALIZATION AS A STRATEGY FOR ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS REFERENCES [1] Bressers, H., Lulofs, K. (Eds.), 2010. Governance and complexity in water management: Creating cooperation through boundary spanning strategies. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. [2] Black, J., 2008. Constructing and contesting legitimacy and accountability in polycentric regulatory regimes. Regulation and Governance, Vol. 2, 137-164. [3] May, P., 2007. Regulatory regimes and accountability. Regulation and Governance, Vol. 1, 8-26. [4] Andersson, K., Ostrom, E., 2008. Analyzing decentralized resources regimes from a polycentric perspective. Policy Sciences, Vol. 41, 71-93. [5] Bressers, H., Rosenbaum, W. (Eds.), 2003. Achieving sustainable development: The challenge of governance across social scales. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. [6] Boer, C. de, Bressers, H., 2011. Complex and dynamic implementation processes: Analyzing the renaturalization of the Dutch Regge river. Enschede: University of Twente Books. Open access freely available: http://doc.utwente.nl/77862/ (244 pp.). [7] Williams, P., 2002. The competent boundary spanner. Public Administration, Vol. 80, No.1, 103-124. 104

Kun Zhang REVIEW AND GAPS: EUROPEAN ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS IN THE PAST 40 YEARS REVIEW AND GAPS: EUROPEAN ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS IN THE PAST 40 YEARS ABSTRACT Kun Zhang Kassel University Landscape Planning / Land Use Department Gottschalkstrasse 26, DE-34127, Kassel, Germany zxzhangkun@gmail.com In the process of 40 years, ecological networks as a single target conservation strategy have evolved into a multi-objective comprehensive strategy that includes social, cultural and many other aspects. Ecological networks have significant potential to change the shape and layout of lands without losing their conservation function. This article summarizes the development of European ecological networks during the past 40 years. Concepts and definitions are clarified. The evolutionary process is presented as three distinct periods and the characteristics of each of these periods are identified. Following the literature review, gaps within theoretical considerations and practical activities are explored. Based on this review and gap analysis the status quo of network development is assessed and suggestions provided for the construction of ecological networks in the future. Keywords: Ecological Network, Green Belt, Literature review, Europe 1 INTRODUCTION Rapid urbanization has brought great land transformations that lead to fragmentation and serious ecological damage. These processes resulted in large numbers of species to decline or become extinct, additionally, these processes are posing direct threats to humans and to their environment. Hence, while the original intention of devising ecological networks is to protect the world’s biodiversity, mainly as a response to fragmentation of land, the compensation for restrictions and intensification of land use are now also important aims. Without including early examples of ‘Green Belts’ the development of ecological networks in Europe has a history of nearly 40 years. Supported by advancements in ecological theory and computer technology (e.g. GIS), the designing of ecological networks originated from a single target programme and has now developed into a multi-objective strategy, one that integrates with land management, environmental protection, sustainable development and spatial planning. The green belt and ecological network construction throughout the European continent is one of the largest strategy of mutual cooperation that involves ecologists, biologists, landscape planner, and other professionals. This article attempts to sum up the development process of ecological networks in the past 40 years. Its starting points are four main questions, (1) what is an ecological network? (2) How did the concept of ecological networks develop and what effects has it had so far? (3) 105

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The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps
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