Published: 14 April 2021
Last edited: 14 April 2021
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The ALPBIONET2030 project investigated for the first time where and to what extent the Alpine territory is suitable for ecological connectivity. It carried out a GIS based spatial analysis for the overall area of the European Alps. As a result of the analysis, three different types of Strategic Alpine Connectivity Areas (SACA) were defined: Ecological Conservations Areas (C1), Ecological Intervention Areas (C2) and Connectivity Restoration Areas (C3). The concept behind this categorization is that areas that are still valuable should be protected (C1), their habitat conditions should be improved and their surface probably expanded. Ecological Intervention Areas (C2) are those with conditions difficult for wildlife but also with realistic potential for improvement. Connectivity Restoration Areas (C3) are mainly the large Alpine valleys with high human impact, intensive land use and major barriers, where only specific restoration measures can help to improve the conditions of ecological connectivity.



West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Grassland ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate grassland, savanna, shrubland
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Ecosystem services
Forest Management
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Land management
Protected and conserved areas governance
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Science and research
Species management
Terrestrial spatial planning
Land and Forest degradation
Ecosystem loss
Sendai Framework
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030


Zernez, Graubünden, Switzerland | Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia
Chambéry, Savoie, France
Vienna, Austria
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Milan, Milan, Italy
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Ecological connectivity is the basis of Alpine global habitat and species protection. However, with the fact that different regions have varying tools to measure and improve biodiversity, it becomes difficult to create an integrative concept for the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity within the Alps; a beautiful and unique European landscape rich in valuable habitats and structures, but endangered by over-exploitation and development. The overall objective of this project was to consolidate and enhance transnational cooperation in the field of nature conservation while providing a harmonized concept of preserving natural habitats and common planning tools to produce a high level ecological connectivity for biodiversity conservation.


Wildlife protection services and protected areas management teams, through:

  • multi-stakeholder and cross-border concept for integrated wildlife management in the Alps
  • Identification of most important barriers around the Alps & Ecological Connectivity pathways

How do the building blocks interact?

We understand building blocks as a sequence of actions that build on one another and of course have to interact with one another so that the goals can be achieved.


The results were used to raise awareness of stake holders especially for the international importance for ecological connectivity, but not only. In particular, the method was also implemented to support decision-making processes to reach the federal sustainability goals by the Swiss cantons.

Further, the produced maps and results were integrated in a teaching unit for high school students.

The outcomes of the project were made available for public on an online platform and through printed products in a popular scientific way, a printed atlas and a comic (see links below).

Overall, the project ALPBIONET2030 creates a reliable scientific outcome for integrative Alpine wildlife and habitat management for the next generation.




The Swiss National Park is engaged in Alps-wide projects on ecological connectivity since 2004. The project ALPBIONET2030 is an important pearl withing the efforts to improve biodiversity and ecological connectivity in the Alps.

To be asked to map gaps and opportunities all over Switzerland and make some recommendations for the Swiss biodiversity strategy was a personal satisfaction. The topic became "common", the work can be continued on a higher and more productive level.

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Flurin Filli