After two and half years of working on the ECONNECT project, innumerable meetings with local stakeholders, project partners and experts, and the long and complex process of developing a methodology, mapping and planning the activities, the project is entering the final phase: implementing the connectivity measures.
The pilot regions have chosen which actions they will implement in order to demonstrate that, after a process of planning and coordination with local stakeholders, it is possible to improve connectivity between our most valuable habitats, which are often also the most fragile.
Naturally the scope of these activities is limited by the funding available, but they do prove that a structured planning process and awareness-raising can produce results.
ECONNECT is essentially a planning project and has trialled a fairly sophisticated methodology (Joint Ecological Continuum Analysing and Mapping Initiative – JECAMI, analysis of potential Alpine habitats for certain species and of the fragmentation of the Alpine region). It also engages the stakeholders who are essential to the creation of an ecological continuum in the Alps.
ECONNECT has certainly achieved its aims. The priority now is to draw conclusions based on the findings of the ECONNECT project, notably strategic recommendations on implementing measures and integrating the ideas into Alpine land management policies with a view to facilitating genetic exchanges and improving the potential for conserving Alpine biodiversity.
We have six months left to achieve these aims, as the project has been extended to November 2011.
- Project ECONNECT A project of the ETC programme Alpine Space