Implementing green infrastructure and ecological networks in Europe: Lessons learned and future perspectives

K. Čivić*, L.M. Jones-Walters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of landscape fragmentation is well recognised as one of the key contributors to the past and present decline in European wildlife. Ecological networks were seen as a solution to this problem and have been the subject of research, policy and practice for nearly 40 years; resulting in many examples of best practice and lessons learned. More recently the European Commission has introduced the concept of Green Infrastructure (GI) which retains the frame work of ecological networks at its core but which offers a more sophisticated integration of economic and social factors and the delivery of a range of ecosystem services. GI has already been included as a concept in EU strategy and offers much for future policy making and delivery of sectoral integration. The views of stakeholders indicate that there a number of key areas for improvement but confirm the potential of the concept. Further work should consider the practicalities of the full translation of the protected area networks into functional ecological networks and making them integral building blocks of the green infrastructure both at the level of policy and practice. In addition information about how to create actual ecological networks at the delivery level, particularly where this has involved stakeholder and public participation needs to be researched and made widely available. The issue of communication; specifically to politicians and decision makers within key sectors (such as spatial planning, transport, industry, etc.) but more widely to researchers, conservation practitioners, businesses and the interested public remain to be fully addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-324
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Green Engineering
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Ecological networks
  • Ecosystem services
  • Green infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Resource efficiency

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