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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

Marco Neubert, Sylvi

Marco Neubert, Sylvi Bianchin DETECTING GAPS – GIS-BASED INVENTORY OF ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS IN SELECTED CENTRAL EUROPEAN BORDER REGIONS 4 CONCLUSIONS The results of the gap analysis were overlaid with existing plans for ecological networks to illustrate the correlation between our methodology based on free and easily accessible data on a large European scale and other methods used in Central Europe (TSES, EECONET, NOH, biotope corridors of Saxony) to distinguish ecological networks. The analyses indicate the weaknesses of the current situation as well as the potentials for further development of the network of protected areas as the backbone of ecological networks. To face the still existing challenges of preserving and extending the ecological network the implementation of joint transnational strategies like the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or Natura 2000 need to be strengthened and supported by cross-border cooperation. Taking these actions may allow closing some of the gaps within the green networks. It also gives an overview of areas with high nature value which are currently not adequately protected within the European protected area network. To ensure the preservation of these valuable areas the elimination or prohibition of land use intensification of should be one of the foremost strategies. Other important strategies are the de-intensification of land use, forests conversion and the preservation, maintenance and replanting of landscape structures such as hedges, tree rows, small woodlands, individual trees, dry stone walls, rock fragment piles, mixed orchards, and wetlands. The cross-border cooperation and the harmonised transboundary database for the ten countries involved is one of the achievements of the project. The results of the analysis offer an overview of the large scale cross-border connectivity of the protected area network in Central European countries. This provides the basis for the development of common plans and strategies for ecological networks and biotope corridors across national borders as well as further analyses. Thus, the goal of linking habitats as demanded by the CBD programme can be supported, especially across national boundaries. The results presented here represent only a subset of the overall results achieved during the investigation of the ecological network of Central and Eastern Europe within the TransEcoNet project. Further results can be found in various publications, e.g. [8], [9], [10]. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The presented results have been elaborated within the project Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe (TransEcoNet). This project is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Program co-financed by the ERDF (project no. 1CE061P3). REFERENCES [1] Opdam P., Steingröver E., Rooij S. v., 2006. Ecological networks: a spatial concept for multi-actor planning of sustainable landscapes, Landscape and Urban Planning 75(3), 322- 332. [2] Hilty, J. A.; Lidicker Jr., W. Z.; Merenlender, A. M., 2006. Corridor ecology: the science and practice of linking landscapes for biodiversity conservation. ISLAND Press Washington – Covelo – London. 78

Marco Neubert, Sylvi Bianchin DETECTING GAPS – GIS-BASED INVENTORY OF ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS IN SELECTED CENTRAL EUROPEAN BORDER REGIONS [3] Lidicker, W.Z., Jr., 1999. Responses of mammals to habitat edges: An overview. Landscape Ecology 14, 333-343. [4] Dudley, N., Parish, J., 2006. Closing the gap. Creating ecologically representative protected area systems: A guide to conducting the gap assessments of protected area systems for the Convention on Biological Diversity. Technical Series no. 24. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada. [5] European Environment Agency (EEA) European data on protected sites, downloaded on 19 Feb 2010, CORINE land cover data, downloaded on 19 Feb 2010 (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/conservation/species/redlist/index_en.htm) [6] IUCN, 2009. IUCN Red List of threatened species - spatial data download. Version 2009.2., http://www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/spatial-data, downloaded on 19 Feb 2010 [7] BirdLife International, 2010. Spatial data of threatened bird species and list of threatened bird species in Europe. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/index.html, downloaded on 19 Mar 2010. [8] Neubert, M.; Bianchin, S.; Syrbe, R.; Stöcker, C. 2010. Report - Gaps in ecological networks. http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/outputlib/gaps_in_ eclogical_networks.pdf. [9] Bianchin, S., Neubert, M. 2012. Lücken im Netz – GIS basierte Bestandsaufnahme ökologischer Netzwerke in ausgewählten Grenzregionen Mitteleuropas. Treffpunkt Biologische Vielfalt XI: Interdisziplinärer Forschungsaustausch im Rahmen des Übereinkommens über die biologischen Vielfalt, BfN (Hrsg.) – BfN-Skripten 309, 25-30. [10] Leibenath, M.; Blum, A.; Stutzriemer, S. 2010: Transboundary cooperation in establishing ecological networks: The case of Gemany’s external borders. Landscape and Urban Planning 94 (2010) 2, 84-93. 79

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The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps
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