The overall aim of TransEcoNet is a comprehensive inventory and the protection of ecological networks and their natural and cultural heritage. The project partners elaborated, analysed and assessed parts of the Central European network regarding (i) transboundary connectivity and existing gaps, (ii) land use changes since the end of the 18th century, (iii) ecological functionality of landscapes and services they provide to society and (iv) national planning tools, regulations and transnational cooperation initiatives dealing with ecological networks.
Protected areas and regions are connected by more or less degraded ecological networks which are often neglected and threatened by a multitude of destructive impacts. Unlike European programmes which focus on strategic planning based on biodiversity measures and unlike the Green Belt initiative, this project deals with strategies of protection and restoration as well as of ecologically-sound development of lost green landscapes and their degraded networks in Central Europe. In this context the development and implementation of strategies supporting transnational ecological networks cover assessment of ecological networks in Central Europe (eco-topologies), the history of landscapes (histories) as well as ecological values and threats (ecologies), awareness raising (identities) and promoting and putting forth green bands in Central Europe towards the public (publicities).
Results and outputs of TransEcoNet comprise the establishment and implementation of a bundle of methods to evaluate and analyse the history and the status, deficits and potentials of transnational ecological networks in Central Europe. Based on spatial information on historical and recent patterns of landscape functionality strategies for ecological assessment of protection values and threats as well as scenarios of development of ecological networks with special regard to the promotion of ecosystem services are implemented. Activities of representation and mediation of values of identification of local people with their landscapes, of awareness raising and educational initiatives along the ecological networks of Central Europe will be set up and stipulate new dimensions of transnational solidarity in protection and conservation of heritage. The project support the establishment of ecologically sound spatial development strategies in Central Europe in general and in ecological networks in particular.
Actions of the University of Vienna:
The main objective was to implement the concept of ecosystem services in selected transboundary areas along the ecological networks of the project region on different spatial scales. The investigation of landscape services provide regional stakeholders with valuable information on the service provision of transnational ecological networks and can therefore be used as a decision tool in landscape planning processes.
Tasks of this study were:
- to implement the concept of ecosystem services in selected transboundary areas along the ecological networks of the project region on different spatial scales.
- to develop a catalogue of planning measures for the case study Biosphere Reserve Neusiedler See basing on the general guidelines of a strategy and action plan for sustainable management and providing results that can be implemented in regional and landscape planning processes.
- to create a structural framework for planning measures for the case study Biosphere Reserve “Neusiedler See” by applying a participatory concept of ecosystem services integrating local and regional stakeholder’s knowledge and demands. Analyses are aiming at the identification, measuring and communication of the ecological and socio-cultural values of the region for the implementation of a redesigned Biosphere Reserve following Seville standards.
- to test the innovative method of airborne laser scanning for assessing diversity of habitats in ecological networks of the investigation area Neusiedler See/Fertő.