Connecting natural spaces is of key importance for the nature protection goals of the Alpine Convention. Therefore, the Alpine Convention established its “Ecological Network” Platform in 2007.
Its goal is to create a cross-boundary Alpine spatial network of protected areas and to connect elements with the support of experts, policy-makers and other relevant groups. Through the Platform, Alpine countries will be able to share, compare and revise crucial information on measures and methodologies. The Platform provides an important link between policy-makers, the scientific community and practitioners. It also allows for a more efficient cooperation with other sectors.
Experts will work within the Platform on three key areas of concern: scientific support for the establishment of an ecological network, its project-oriented implementation and the advancement of an Alpine-wide ecological network.
Concrete tasks will be the following: the enlargement and integration of cross-boundary protected areas in the framework of existing activities (as seen through the example of the development of the Natura 2000 and Emerald networks), the elaboration of methodologies for the connection of habitats, and supporting the implementation of connection measures for Alpine species and habitats. Some regions have already started cross-boundary work. Platform activities will further support and develop the ongoing work.