SearchGo Search

Presidency: France and Germany (alternating)

An ecological network is an area of natural habitats that are interconnected physically and functionally through populations of species and ecosystems.
The Alps are one of the largest continual natural spaces in Europe and they are home to more than 30.000 animal species and 13.000 plant species. Article 12 of the Protocol “Nature Protection and Landscape Conservation” of the Alpine Convention specifically sets out that the Contracting Parties “will take appropriate measures for creating a national and cross-border network of protected areas, biotopes and other environmental assets protected or acknowledged as worthy of protection". Conserving and valuing biodiversity and landscape is also one of the six priorities set in the Multiannual Work Programme 2017-2022 of the Alpine Convention.
The Ecological Network Platform of the Alpine Convention was set up by ministers at the IX. Alpine Conference in 2006 as an expert forum to develop common strategies in order to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity in the Alps, mainly through the design and support of measures ensuring the connectivity between natural habitats. The Ecological Network Platform is working at the levels of science, policies and implementation in order to identify emerging issues related to ecological connectivity. Its membership also inspires and supports transboundary, alpine-wide and national projects on ecological connectivity; it participates in the elaboration of various specialist publications. The Platform analyses, presents and communicates the role of ecological networks and connectivity in the implementation of a green economy in the Alps, in particular on the basis of best practices, thereby mainstreaming ecological connectivity into other sectors (especially spatial planning). 
Since 2011 the Ecological Network Platform has designated ten Pilot Regions of the Alpine Convention for Ecological Connectivity, which encompass existing protected areas but cover a much larger territory. The Pilot Regions are territories, often cross-border, in which specific activities are undertaken in order to develop ecological connectivity. The Ecological Network Platform gives official recognition to their commitment, concretely supports them by organising opportunities for the exchange of experience and monitors their progress.  

The Ecological Network Platform is also following EU policy and activities on Green Infrastructure. Close cooperation with the EUSALP Action Group 7 is pursued. Beyond the Alps, the Ecological Network Platform is supporting the Memoranda of Understanding signed between the Alpine Convention and the Carpathian Convention, and between the Alpine Convention, the Carpathian Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity.  

In the years 2017-2018, the Ecological Connectivity Platform is continuing its core activities of expert exchange and support and development of the network of Pilot Regions. It is also specifically analysing how ecological connectivity is or can be included in spatial planning.

The Contracting Parties to the Alpine Convention delegate experts to be members of the Working Groups/ Platforms. Observers to the Convention may also nominate representatives.

The main objectives of the Ecological Network Platform are:
  • To further support Pilot Regions for ecological connectivity of the Alpine Convention and to encourage other regions to be nominated as new Pilot Regions, by showcasing and jointly developing feasible measures and reinforcing political support. As a result the network of Pilot Regions will increase and be more effective;
  • To promote the exchange, development and transfer of knowledge and know-how on ecological connectivity;
  • To demonstrate the benefits of connectivity measures to a green economy in the Alps;
  • To broaden the stakeholders' network for ecological connectivity in the Alps and beyond.  
Current activities, documents, results Past activities, documents, results

Pilot Regions for Ecological Connectivity of the Alpine Convention: