DANUBEparksCONNECTED Project (DTP1-1-005-2.3) Bridging the Danube Protected Areas towards a Danube Habitat Corridor


DANUBEparksCONNECTED Project (DTP1-1-005-2.3)
Bridging the Danube Protected Areas towards a Danube Habitat Corridor


Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority implements as partner, between 01.01.2017 – 30.06.2019, DANUBEparksCONNECTED Project - Bridging the Danube Protected Areas towards a Danube Habitat Corridor (DANUBEparksCONNECTED, DTP1-1-005-2.3, approved in the first call of Transnational Danube Programme 2014-2020, Priority Axis 2 Environment and culture responsible in the Danube region.
The Project is structured in the following Work Packages: 1. Project Management; 2. Communication Activities; 3. Corridor Water WILDisland; 4. Corridor Air FREE SKY. DDBRA is responsible partner for this Work Package; 5. Corridor Land- Dry Habitat; 6. Corridor Land- Forest; 7. Danube Habitat Corridor.
Bridging the danube protected areas to counteract landscape and habitat fragmentation and to make the danube a key ecological corridor is the main objective of DANUBEparksCONNECTED and a priority of EU policies like the EUSDR Action Plan.
Fragmentation is a major threat to European biodiversity and reduces the efficacy of conservation policies like Natura 2000. A Danube Habitat Corridor is initiated by DANUBEparksCONNECTED strategic actions. Existing gaps are bridged by the dense DANUBEPARKS Network encompassing all Danube on two levels: through concerted strategic policymaking; and by way of tangible activities on the ground, working to preserve terrestrial, aquatic and aerial habitats - and to make the Danube a best practice eco-corridor.
Due to the multi-functionality of rivers, sectors like transport, energy and forestry are key actors when it comes to ecological connectivity along the Danube. Intense land use and fragmentation reduce the supply of Ecosystem Services. DANUBEparksCONNECTED's aim is to restore ecosystem multi-functionality. Boosting Green Infrastructure strongly has to follow a strong integrative and cross-sector approach. Common policies like Natura 2000, Water Framework Directive and Green Infrastructure in Europe deliver the policy background.
In the eastern Danube countries, fragmentation is not as high as in the Upper Danube, but the Danube Region is facing a dynamic (economic) development, which will bring PAs still more under pressure. DANUBEparksCONNECTED aims to raise awareness among stakeholders, including different sectors, policy makers and the general public, to empower the Network to work together in a cross-sector partnership on innovative and ambitious solutions towards a Danube Habitat Corridor.
The establishment of Green Infrastructure intends to create win-win situations for different sectors. DANUBEparksCONNECTED brings together stakeholders from nature conservation, transport, energy, forestry and other land-users, to jointly implement pilot actions as demonstrations of good practice solutions in developing TEN-G, trans-European Networks of Green Infrastructure. Beside raising awareness, sound strategies supported on the policy level and the creation of synergies through the implementation of Tangible Pilots are the best tools to initiate and establish ecological connectivity in the long-term.
DANUBEparksCONNECTED Project specific objectives:
- Empowering the Network by raising awareness among stakeholder          
The eco-corridor’s significance is raised by DANUBEparksCONNECTED. To this end, the project reaches out to stakeholders and the public, share experience and know-how with Network partners, pro-actively involve policymakers, and pursue concrete action and implementation of policies and programmes. The overall DANUBEPARKS' Network capacity is increased by this project, and the public is aware of landscape restoration.
- Danube-wide policy on GI boosted by cooperation crossover sectors.      
DANUBEPARKS is in a leading role for nature conservation along the Danube. With the support of its partners like EUSDR and ICPDR, DANUBEparksCONNECTED will use its strategic approach to be a policy driver.
Green Infrastructure measures are implemented within DANUBEparksCONNECTED thanks to the integration of other sectors such as waterways, forestry, and flood management in day-to-day operations of Protected Areas.
- Long-term eco-connectivity initiated by implementing tangible Pilots.      
The Danube Habitat Corridor is strengthened by DANUBEparksCONNECTED through pilot actions in water, land and air. It provides a best-practice model for other macro-regions by initiating follow-up activities in all habitat types.
The Danube as eco-corridor is further developed by good-practice restoration and management, thanks to the extensive experience of the Network on the ground and political and cross-sector partnerships.
Project main results:

  1. Connecting 5 biogeographic regions, the Danube eco-corridor has become especially relevant due to the effects of climate change. This is the first Danube-wide concept for habitat connectivity to be launched.
  2. The Danube Habitat Corridor in water (WILDisland), air (DANUBE FREE SKY) and on land (dry habitats, forest) is reinforced by 30 pilot actions.
  3. DANUBEparksCONNECTED is anchored on the policy level by 2 strategic documents; existing policies are supported by 3 tools.
  4. DANUBEPARKS raised its capacity by 7 expert workshops and has the capacity to manage the eco-corridor.
  5. Cross-sector cooperation with energy, transportation and forestry is ensured by 3 interdisciplinary documented learning interactions, including 21 cross-sector events.
  6. 2 communication campaigns raise public awareness for Green Infrastructure and ecosystem services.
  7. 1 cross-over capitalisation process brings together relevant partner projects and multipliers on a European scale. As best-practice model for eco-corridors, DANUBEparksCONNECTED will enable other macro-regions to capitalise on its success.
  8. The Danube Habitat Corridor is a long-term process. DANUBEparksCONNECTED inspires at least 2 follow-up projects to contribute on a bilateral or multilateral level.
  9. Synergies by Green Infrastructure directly triggers follow-up investments into the eco-corridor approx. in the ratio 1:8 (e.g. by power line operators, waterway).
  10. Communication activities and materials to increase public awareness about DANUBEPARKS Network .
  11. Many internal communication activities to optimize cooperation within the Network.
Donau-Auen National Park Austria is the Project Lead Partner, the project being implemented by 16 partners from din 9 Danubian countries.

Austria:           2 partners
Germany:        3 partners
Slovakia:         2 partners
Hungary:         3 partners
Croatia:           1 partners
Bulgaria:          2 partners
Romania:         1 partner: DDBRA
Serbia:             1 partner
Republic of Moldova: 1 Associated Strategic Partner


The Project Total Budget is 3.084.492,49 Euro. DDBRA.
DDBRA Total Budget is 349.781,25 Euro, of which the DDBRA own contribution is 6.995,63 Euro.

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