Project Profile: Ecological Network Platform
Establishing an Ecological Network Platform
Implementation of the Alpine Convention Nature Conservation Protocol
The Alpine Convention is an international convention on the protection of the Alpine natural region and aiming to promote sustainable development in the Alps.
The Alpine Convention was signed in Salzburg on 7 November 1991 by the environment ministers of the Alpine states of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The EU is also a signatory. Slovenia signed the convention on 29 March 1993, and Monaco joined on 20 December 1994 under a special protocol. The Convention entered into force on 6 March 1995.
The Convention takes the form of a framework agreement under which detailed implementing provisions are laid down in supplementary protocols. Protocols have been signed so far on spatial planning and sustainable development, mountain forests, tourism, energy, soil conservation, transport, and dispute resolution. Protocols on population and culture, prevention of air pollution, water management and waste management are currently in preparation.
Since 2003, the Alpine Convention has had a Permanent Secretariat in Innsbruck. Chairmanship of the Convention rotates between the parties.
The ecological network platform:
In a meeting at the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment, Health and Consumer Protection during Germany’s Convention chairmanship in March 2007, the Convention parties, relevant NGOs and protected area representatives proposed a working group or ‘platform’ to promote the creation of an Alpine ecological network.
The creation of such a network is provided for in Article 12 of the Protocol on Conservation of Nature and the Countryside. The work involves, among other things, expanding and supplementing cross-border protected areas (including Natura 2000 sites), and coordinating and linking environmental measures affecting species and habitats throughout the Alpine region. Relevant research is also to be promoted and carried out, and the outcomes incorporated in an Alpine monitoring and information system. Public relations work is also needed to highlight the importance of the ecological network.
Work on the geographical network has already begun in a number of pilot regions, for example the German Berchtesgaden National Park and the Austrian Kalkhochalpen nature conservation area.
The Ecological Network Platform brings together experts from Convention parties, NGOs and pilot regions to work on making the ecological network a reality. It provides an opportunity to cooperate on formulating activities and plans and thus to develop and implement joint ideas. It also constitutes an important link between the expert community and policymakers.
One current platform project involves compiling a list of activities for conserving, restoring and connecting habitats of importance to biodiversity. The list will bring together all tools for creating an ecological network of this kind that have been tested so far and will show how they can be applied throughout the Alps. Other focus issues include climate change and biodiversity in the Alps and selecting and promoting pilot regions to implement and further test measures to connect habitats.
Through BfN’s chairmanship of the platform, Germany is a key partner to the Alpine Convention Secretariat, the Convention’s parties and international experts.
Heinrichs, Anne Katrin; Kohler, Yann & Ullrich, Aurelia (Eds.) (2010): Implementing a Pan-Alpine Ecological Network - A Compilation of Major Approaches, Tools and Activities. BfN-Skripten 273.
ALPARC, CIPRA, ISCAR, WWF (2010): Restoring the Web of Life : Ecological networks for more biodiversity in the Alps.
Hedden-Dunkhorst, Bettina; Kretschmar, Meike & Kohler, Yann (Eds.) (2007): Establishing an Alpine Ecological Network Inaugural Meeting of the Platform "Ecological Network" under the Alpine Convention. BfN-Skripten 210.
Duration: Started 2006
Region: Alpine region
Project partners: Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention; ALPARC
Project management at BfN:
Section I 2.3, International Nature Conservation
Contact: Dr. Bettina Hedden-Dunkhorst ( email@example.com)