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Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe (TransEcoNet)
Start date: Dec 31, 2008, End date: Apr 29, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Protected areas, like national parks, nature parks or biosphere reserves, are often isolated islands for the protection of the worlds biodiversity. They are separated by less or unprotected landscapes, traffic corridors or settlements. Often animal and plant species dispose of less space for migration, dispersion and reproduction than necessary. To preserve natural and cultural heritage in the long run, TransEcoNet strives therefore for a better connection of protected and unprotected landscapes across national borders.TransEcoNet elaborates strategies and gives recommendations how to develop and manage transnational ecological networks in Central Europe. In particular the focus is on less or unprotected landscapes, so-called gaps, between protected areas. The project study areas are situated within or between the wide-ranging ecological networks of the Alps, Carpathians and of the Green Belt. The connection of these ecosystems decisively contributes to their pan-European interlinkage and to sustainable territorial development.The project partners are working in the fields of remote sensing, geoinformatics, nature protection, landscape ecology, history of architecture and arts as well as regional and environmental sciences. They analyse and assess transboundary landscapes regarding their topologies, histories, natural and cultural potentials. Thereupon they elaborate recommendations and strategies for a sustainable development of those transnational ecological networks. Achievements: TransEcoNet has been launched with the Kick-Off Meeting in Dresden in February 2009. During the event and the first transnational project meeting the project regions and methodological approaches within the different work packages were agreed upon. As a first step, an inventory of ecological networks in Central Europe and a gap analysis were conducted. This served as a basis for the further project work: the historical analysis of ecological networks and the detailed investigation into biodiversity and ecosystem services in the project regions. The results are promoted with awareness raising activities. The actions should act as a link between ecological networks, perception of landscape changes and regional identities. Project activities covering the inventory of ecological networks in Central Europe have been completed. Besides the inventory, a connectivity analysis, a gap analysis and management strategies were elaborated. Moreover, 24 transboundary ecological network concepts and cooperation initiatives were evaluated. The documents covering the inventory of ecologcial networks and the network initiatives are available on the project website ( and in the output library of the CENTRAL Europe Programme. In the framework of the historical network analysis a collection of documents of natural and cultural heritage has been done and a transnational tool for matching historical maps has been developed. This tool is based on ArcGIS software and allows georeferencing and rubber sheeting of historical maps for integration into a common reference system. Moreover, the history of selected hot spots, this means the dynamics of the change of land cover, has been analysed. Data mining for the visualisation of landscape functionality has been done and a concept for assessing landscape functionality and biodiversity has been developed and is currently implemented. 221 interviews have been conducted with local residents and experts covering their perception of landscape changes. Reports covering the analysis of the interviews are now available. Documentary films about the perception of landscape change were prepared and workshops to promote project results were organised. Promotion material and press appearances introduce the project to the public and call for the attention of external experts in research, public administrations and government, as well as protected area administrations on local, national and European level. TransEcoNet has been presented on various regional and international events and conferences (e.g. AGIT, IALE, euregia). Moreover, the project established strong links with other transnational European initiatives dealing with ecological networks in different regions of Europe, like the Alpine Space (Econnect) or the Baltic Sea region (Baltic Green Belt) and other CENTRAL Europe Projects (e.g. Vital Landscapes).
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  • 79%   2 293 617,00
  • 2007 - 2013 Central Europe
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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15 Partners Participants