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Rhaetian Triangle: new online tools and support for local initiatives

The Swiss National Park (SNP) is currently developing a web based tool to analyze barriers and corridors of the large pilot region Rhaetian Triangle. Furthermore, two local initiatives are concretely acting for the restoration of ecological connectivity. The new map application will allow comparing a freely defined area with other areas in the neighbourhood and identifying the fields with high need of action according to selected indices.
This tool will help experts to identify the connectivity hot spots and the ecological continuum as well as raising awareness in a wider field of the eco-interested community in the pilot region.
Apart from developing the web tool, the ECONNECT team of the SNP is also supporting two local initiatives in the Swiss-Austrian-Italian pilot region Rhaetian Triangle to restore ecological connectivity.
In the Austrian region around the river Inn, the Environment Advocacy of Tyrol (Landesumweltanwaltschaft) and WWF Tyrol have started a project to improve the connectivity of selected species along the historical route "Via Claudia Augusta". Measures should be implemented to reduce the barrier impact of the heavily used road infrastructures in this area. This should help to measurably improve the migration of the selected species. ECONNECT supports the project team with knowledge concerning the selection of species, defining corridors and barriers and ensures the access to international know how. Moreover, this exemplary project should be promoted towards the Italian and Swiss partners in the pilot region Rhaetian Triangle.
In South-Tyrol, Italy, the nature protection group Vinschgau has submitted a resolution to protect the Rambach stream between the Swiss border and the estuary into the Etsch. The local authorities are planning to implement a small scaled hydropower station in the Rambach with very limited economic value. In the last years, the Swiss part of the Rambach has been restored and is nowadays an outstanding example of a renaturalized stream. The realization of the planned project in South-Tyrol would destroy all efforts in the Swiss Val Müstair concerning connectivity of this water body and reduce the value of the ecological system distinctively. The resolution for the protection of the Rambach is therefore an extraordinary example of the importance of ECONNECT and the international collaboration on ecological connectivity.
Further information on ECONNECT Project: www.econnectproject.eu