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Ecological Connectivity and the Law: from barriers to instruments

Mar 26, 2010 / CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission
Entering the second year of the ECONNECT project, the activities on legal barriers (Work Package 6) are steadily progressing. The two major fields of action are at the moment a comparative analysis of the legal frameworks of ecological connectivity in the Alps and the analysis of the legal situation in the pilot regions.
Legal barriers
Image caption:
Ecological connectivity cannot be implemented without the process of overcoming legal barriers.
An important component of the ECONNECT project is that on Legal Barriers (also known as WP6), an effort led by MATTM, the Italian Ministry of the Environment), together with EURAC, Region Valle d'Aosta and CIPRA France.
The main objective of this component is to assess the legal framework for ecological networking in different Alpine countries and to provide examples and propose good practices (such as the EGTC, European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, a new instrument adopted by the European Union) to establish connections among protected areas across borders, so that the migration and conservation of wildlife is made easier throughout the Alpine space.
For instance, experts from both EURAC, an innovative applied research institute located in the heart of the Alpine arc, and Region Valle d'Aosta are carrying out a comparative analysis on the legal frameworks of ecological connectivity in all Alpine countries, starting from France and Italy in order to assess the present situation and produce a methodology which can be used elsewhere.
Moreover, the partners of the project involved in this component are analyzing the legal situation of the pilot areas of the ECONNECT project, many of which are trans-boundary. A workshop specifically targeted at the pilot regions is being organized by CIPRA, scheduled for May, 6th in Grenoble, France. This is a follow-up to an early workshop on Trans-boundary co-operation between protected areas in the Alps, held on April 19, 2009 by MATTM and EURAC in Domodossola, Italy, and will also provide the opportunity to discuss the tentative results of a survey involving all pilot regions.
This workshop will also be an opportunity for the actors involved in the creation of an Alpine Ecological Network to be informed and discuss the legal aspects of this common effort. The results of the workshops and of the ongoing analyses will result in a final report to be presented at the Final Conference on ecological connectivity and the law, scheduled for December 2010 in Aosta, Italy.
Hopefully, by then, this component of the project will have contributed to raising awareness among the actors involved, facilitating the harmonized management of trans-boundary corridors, and ultimately transformed the perception of the law from a barrier to an instrument.
Further information on ECONNECT Project: