Policy Assessment - WWF

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Policy Assessment - WWF Powered By Docstoc
					Rapid Policy Assessment
 for the Alps Ecoregion
     Prepared by Olivia Bina

          September 2000

   WWF Alpine Programme


1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................... 5
   1.1 THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT ........................................................................................................................ 5
   1.2 STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT ........................................................................................................................ 5
2. THE “BIODIVERSITY” POLICY SCENE ................................................................................................. 6
   2.1 DEFINING THE STUDY AREA ......................................................................................................................... 6
   2.2 OVERVIEW ................................................................................................................................................... 6
   2.3 REVIEW OF SELECTED INSTRUMENTS - A) INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS ................................................. 11
      2.3.1 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ....................................................................................... 11
      2.3.2 Ecological networks - focus on the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
      (PEBLDS) ................................................................................................................................................... 14
      2.3.3 European Landscape Convention ..................................................................................................... 19
   2.4 REVIEW OF SELECTED INSTRUMENTS- B)EUROPEAN UNION INSTRUMENTS ............................................... 20
      2.4.1 The Natura 2000 Network ................................................................................................................. 20
      2.4.2 European Community Biodiversity Strategy ..................................................................................... 21
      2.4.3 The European LIFE Regulation ........................................................................................................ 22
   2.5 CONCLUSIONS............................................................................................................................................ 24
3. CONVENTION ON THE PROTECTION OF THE ALPS ...................................................................... 26
   3.1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................................... 26
   3.2 THE PROTOCOLS ........................................................................................................................................ 27
      3.2.1 Catalogue of Alpine Data Sources .................................................................................................... 29
   3.3 CIPRA’S ROLE AND ACTION PLAN ............................................................................................................ 29
   3.4 PROBLEMS AND OBSTACLES ...................................................................................................................... 30
   3.5 CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE OUTLOOK ...................................................................................................... 31
4. THE “SECTORAL” POLICY SCENE ....................................................................................................... 33
   4.1 DEFINING THE STUDY AREA ....................................................................................................................... 33
   4.2 FUNDING MECHANISMS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT .............................................................................. 35
      4.2.1 The Structural Funds and other mechanisms .................................................................................... 35
      4.2.2 Development funds for the Alps and other mountain regions ........................................................... 36
      4.2.3 The Funds and Natura 2000 ............................................................................................................. 37
      4.2.4 Community Initiatives – INTERREG III ............................................................................................ 37
      4.2.5 European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) ........................................................................ 40
      4.2.6 Conclusions - problems and opportunities ........................................................................................ 40
   4.3 AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FORESTRY............................................................................. 41
      4.3.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 41
      4.3.2 The European Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the Rural Development Regulation ............ 42
      4.3.3 Conclusions - Problems and Opportunities ...................................................................................... 44
      4.3.4 Forestry ............................................................................................................................................. 46
   4.4 TRANSPORT ............................................................................................................................................... 48
      4.4.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 48
      4.4.2 Some key initiatives and opportunities for action ............................................................................. 51
      4.4.3 Conclusions - Problems and opportunities ...................................................................................... 53
   4.5 GREENHOUSE GASES AND CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES ................................................................................ 54
      4.5.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 54
      4.5.2 Research ............................................................................................................................................ 56
      4.5.3 Conclusions ....................................................................................................................................... 57
5. IDENTIFICATION OF NEEDS AND POSSIBLE WAY FORWARD ................................................... 59
   5.1 NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES - CONCLUDING REMARKS ............................................................................. 58
   5.2 OTHER AREAS OF POSSIBLE RESEARCH ...................................................................................................... 61
   5.3 SOME FORTHCOMING EVENTS: ................................................................................................................... 62


ANNEX 1 Contacts……………………………………………………………………………………..67
ANNEX 2 List of Potential Alpine-CDS Organisations…………………………………………….70
ANNEX 3 Infra-Eco Network Europe (IENE)……………………………………………………….80
ANNEX 4 Interreg II – Examples in Alpine Region………………………………………………...98


Special thanks to the following experts, who have provided comments and important
sources of information for this study:

Martin Price, Peter Oggier, Annalie Bambour, Sandra Jen, Helen Zitzewitz, Andreas
Grüsse, Jean-François Drevet, Christian Hey, Riccardo Priore, Gianluca Silvestrini,
Marguerite Trocmé.

1. Introduction

1.1 The Scope of the Project

The Policy assessment (PO) is intended to provide an initial overview of the legal and
policy framework, which is of relevance to the conservation and enhancement of
biodiversity in the Alpine region. It should lead to a broad identification and analysis of
policies and legislation1 which:

   Protect and enhance biodiversity;
   Negatively affect biodiversity; and
   Deserve or require further assessment in order to fully understand their impact and

The study therefore distinguishes between two broad categories of international, European
and national policies and legislation:

   “Biodiversity” policies - designed to make a direct positive contribution to the
    conservation and enhancement of biodiversity, and
   “Sectoral” policies - economic and sectoral policies refer to the way governments
    define, regulate and implement measures in key economic areas such as agriculture or
    transport. Depending on the weight given to biodiversity and environmental
    considerations during the development of a sectoral policy, the resulting policy may
    lead to a negative impact and pressure, or it can benefit (mainly indirectly) biodiversity

The PO is designed to contribute to a wider analysis, which includes a biodiversity
assessment and a socio-economic assessment. Its analysis of the current policy context
provides WWF with an overview of key themes and opportunities for future action, which
will feed into discussions on the future Alpine Programme, on WWF’s priorities and its
potential role in the region.

1.2 Structure of the Report

The Report is divided into five main sections:

Section 1 - Introduction
Section 2 - The Biodiversity policy scene
Section 3 - The Convention on the Protection of the Alps
Section 4 - The Sectoral policy scene
Section 5 - Identification of needs for policy strengthening or change.
The Alpine Convention has been treated as a separate section since it relates to both nature conservation and
sectoral policies.

1 The rest of the report will refer to “policies” for brevity however this is effectively intended to include policies,
legislation and international conventions, as well as any action plan or vision of significant interest to the PO.
2 The words biodiversity and sectoral are put in inverted commas since they can only cover a part of the types

of policies analysed. The two terms are used for convenience.

2.The “Biodiversity” Policy Scene
2.1 Defining the study area

The Biodiversity assessment (Grabherr et al. 2000) has identified a series of pressures
affecting biodiversity in the Alps through the:

    Impoverishment and loss of habitats;
    Habitat fragmentation; and
    Decreasing animal and plant populations and loss of species.

The assessment recommends focusing conservation efforts around the protection and
restoration of remaining large wilderness areas.

The choice of relevant policies and regulations for the Policy assessment had to reflect the
above problems and priorities identified in the Biodiversity assessment. This was achieved
through the definition of the following criteria of relevance:

1)   Positive contribution to the integrity of wilderness areas (large natural areas);
2)   Restoration of wilderness areas (large natural areas);
3)   Protection and enhancement of Protected Areas;
4)   Conservation of large carnivores;
5)   Conservation of other species;
6)   Contribution to the protection of ecological processes (e.g. migrations, water cycle,
     climate change).

The next sections will focus on international and European policies and regulations
addressing these criteria. They will include legislative instruments for biodiversity
conservation and policy frameworks for nature conservation where principles, approaches
and actions are proposed in an international context, for example, the Council of Europe.

2.2 Overview

Since the early 1970s there has been a wide range of policy frameworks and legal
instruments for the conservation of species, habitats and landscapes. More recently, there
has been a move to encompass sustainability in nature conservation policy, for example in
the case of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (see below).
This is considered very important for mountain areas such as the Alpine region, which
often require a complex range of measures and functions to maintain their ecological, social
and economic balance.

The instruments considered particularly relevant to this study, and in relation to the
biodiversity criteria presented above, are summarised in Table 2.1.

The next Sections present a brief introduction and analysis of the state of implementation of
the main biodiversity policies and regulations. Where possible, comments are made on
their effectiveness in reaching their original objectives to date, on some of the difficulties

encountered, and the challenges that still need to be met in order to ensure that the policy
or international convention can achieve its objectives. The analysis is based on existing
literature and a number of telephone interviews.

Section 2.3 looks in detail at some international instruments, and Section 2.4 analyses
European Union instruments.
Table 2.1 Overview of International Legal Instruments and Policy Frameworks relevant to Biodiversity Conservation in the Alpine Region

Title                       Details: (1)                   Main Objective(s)                                                              Six Biodiversity criteria (2) for policy
                            a) Co-ordinating body          -brief summary-                                                                relevance
                            b) Year adopted (in force)                                                                                    D= policy has direct relevance
                            c) Geographic scope                                                                                           I = policy has indirect relevance
                                                                                                                                            1        2       3        4       5      6
Ramsar Convention           a) Ramsar Convention Bureau    “Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as                D                D                D      I
                            b) 1971(1975)                  Waterfowl Habitat”
                            c) Global                       to promote designation of wetlands for nature conservation

CITES – Washington          a) UNEP/CITES b) 1973 (1975)   “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna                                     D       D
Convention                   c) Global                     and Flora”
                                                            Parties ban commercial international trade in an agreed list of
                                                               endangered species
                                                            Parties regulate and monitor trade in other species that might become
European Regulation on      a)European Commission          Although the EU is not a Part to the Convention, it has fully implemented it                               D       D
Wildlife Trade and the      b)1997 (1997)                  through its Regulations (no. 338/97 and 939/97)
Implementation of CITES
Bonn Convention             a) UNEP                        “ Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals”           I        I                D       D      D
                            b) 1979 (1983)                  provides framework for migratory species and their habitats by means of
                            c) Global                          strict protection and international agreements
                                                            Parties to work together to provide strict protection for endangered
                                                               migratory species listed in Appendix I to the Convention
                                                            Parties to conclude multilateral agreements for the conservation and
                                                               management of migratory species listed in Appendix II
                                                            Parties to undertake co-operative research activities.
Bern Convention             a)Council of Europe            “Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats”       I        I                D       D      D
                            b)1979 (1982)                   To protect flora and fauna and their habitats
(see also Emerald Network    c)Council of Europe            Parties to promote international co-operation in their conservation
and Habitats Directive,                                        efforts
below)                                                      Parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure conservation of
                                                               habitats, and to integrate such measures in their planning and
                                                               development policies, and pollution control
Title                        Details:(1)                   Main Objective(s)                                                                 Six Biodiversity criteria for policy

                             a) Co-ordinating body         -brief summary-                                                                   relevance
                             b) Year adopted (in force)                                                                                      D= policy has direct relevance
                             c) Geographic scope                                                                                             I = policy has indirect relevance
                                                                                                                                              1       2       3        4       5    6
Birds Directive              a)European Commission         Imposes strict legal obligations on EU MSs:                                        D       D       D                D    D
                             b)1979 (1981)                  to maintain populations of naturally occurring wild birds at levels
                              c)EU                            corresponding to ecological requirements
                                                            to take special measures to conserve the habitat of certain listed
                                                              threatened species through designation of Special Protection Areas
                                                            to regulate trade in birds
                                                            to limit hunting and prohibit certain methods of capture and killing
Convention on Biological      a)United Nations              To conserve biological diversity                                                 D       D       D        D       D    D
Diversity                    b)1992                         To promote the sustainable use of biodiversity components and
                              c)Global                      the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation
                                                              of genetic resources.
Habitats Directive           a)European Commission          To establish a common framework for the EU territory for the                     D       D       D        D       D    D
(Natura 2000)                b)1992                           conservation of animals, plants and natural habitats
                             c)EU                           To create a network of designated Special Areas of Conservation
(see also Birds Directive,                                    (Natura 2000) to maintain or restore, at favourable conservation status,
above)                                                        natural habitats and species of Community interest (Annexes I & II).
LIFE Regulation              a)European Commission          To provide financial support for the implementation of the EC Birds and           I       I       I           I   I    I
                             b)2000                           Habitats Directives in 3 areas of action: nature, environment and third
                              c)EU                            countries
                                                            LIFE-Nature supports action to maintain and restore habitats and
                                                              species listed in both Directives.
European Community           a)European Commission          To anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction or         D       D       D        D       D    D
Biodiversity Strategy         b)1998                          loss of biodiversity at the source
                             c)EU                           Sets objectives for sectors and policy areas
                                                            Aims to develop action plans for selected sectors/policy areas.
Pan-European Biological and a)Council of Europe and UNEP    To reinforce the implementation of existing international conventions            D       D       D        D       D    D
Landscape Diversity         b)1995                            and national legislation on biodiversity and landscape, and identify
Strategy                     c)Pan-European                   additional actions that need to be taken over the next two decades
                                                            To provide a framework to promote a consistent approach and common
                                                              objectives for national and regional action to implement the Convention
                                                              on Biological
Title                           Details:(1)                          Main Objective(s)                                                              Six Biodiversity criteria for policy

                                a) Co-ordinating body                -brief summary-                                                                relevance
                                b) Year adopted (in force)                                                                                          D= policy has direct relevance
                                c) Geographic scope                                                                                                 I = policy has indirect relevance
                                                                                                                                                     1       2       3        4      5     6
Emerald Network                  a)Council of Europe                 Bern Convention Resolution no. 3 of 1996                                        D       D       D        D      D     D
                                  b)1996                              To set up a network which would include the Areas of Special
                                c)Council of Europe                     Conservation Interest designated following Recommendation No.16,
                                                                      To complement the EU Natura 2000 network, focusing on the CEE
Parks for Life                   a)IUCN                               To ensure adequate, effective and well-managed network of protected           D       D       D        D      D     D
                                  b)1994/5                              areas in Europe
                                  c)Europe                            To conserve the full landscape and biological diversity of the continent.
European Landscape                a)Congress of local and regional    To promote landscape protection, management and planning                       I               I
Convention.                     authorities, Council of Europe        To organise European co-operation on landscape issues
                                   b)1997 (2000 in Florence?)         Parties will recognise landscapes in law
                                  c)Council of Europe                 Parties will establish and implement landscape policies aimed at their
                                                                        protection, management and planning
                                                                      Parties will integrate landscape into regional and town planning policies.
      = The main source for this column was ECNC 1998.
      = The six criteria are:
        1) Positive contribution to the integrity of wilderness areas (large natural areas);
        2) Restoration of wilderness areas (large natural areas);
        3) Protection and enhancement of Protected Areas;
        4) Conservation of large carnivores;
        5) Conservation of other species;
        6) Contribution to the protection of ecological processes (e.g. migrations, water, climate change).

2.3 Review of selected Instruments - a) International instruments

2.3.1 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Convention is considered one of the most significant recent developments in
international law and international relations. The CBD aims to conserve biological
diversity, promote the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing
of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources (
The Convention therefore presents many synergies with other biodiversity-related
conventions, and information on this can be found at the following web site:

All countries within the Alpine region have ratified the Convention. Indeed, all Member
States and the European Commission itself are contracting parties to the CBD and thus, are
required to implement all 42 articles. By developing their strategies and action plans they
are contributing to the objectives of the convention, particularly for Articles 6 and 8 which
require parties to:

 develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use
  of biological diversity or adapt for this purpose existing strategies, plans or programmes
  which shall reflect, inter alia, the measures set out in the Convention relevant to the
  contracting party concerned; and
 integrate as far as possible and as appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of
  biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and

Article 26 requires each contracting party to present reports on measures which it has taken
for the implementation of the Convention, and their effectiveness in meeting the objectives
of this convention. All Member states have submitted their first national report and these
are available at the CBD website. Several countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, UK) have
also developed their own sites on behalf of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM).

With reference to the Alpine region, progress to date, in terms of the development of
strategies and/or action plans, as well as reporting to the Conference of the Parties, is
summarised in Table 2.2 below. In general, all Member states have reported to the CBD.
However, in terms of biodiversity strategies or action plans, the progress of MSs varies
significantly. Some countries have had a strategy or action plan from 1994-5, whilst many
others produced their first action plan in 1997-98, and a remaining few still have to produce
their first national strategy or action plan.

Table 2.2 Progress in the implementation of the CBD in the Alpine Region (INCOMPLETE)

Country           National Clearing House Mechanism -                        Strategy/action plan and report(s) to the
                  Web site                                                   Conference of the Parties

Austria                                Austrian Implementation Strategy for the
                  bin/   Convention on Biological Diversity year @
                  tion/biodiv/intro.htm                                      First Austrian National Report on the
                                                                             Convention on Biological Diversity

Slovenia             UN CBD - National Report of the Republic
                                                                             of Slovenia, 1997

France            no national web site in September 2000 (some information
                  from the general CBD site:
Switzerland                   report 1998



In 1996 the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a study on progress in the
implementation of the CBD in its member countries: “The UN Convention on Biological
Diversity - Follow-up in EEA Member Countries 1996” (EEA 1997). Key findings included:

 The survey found the main challenge for signatories to the Convention was to turn plans
  into effective action, and showed that many Member Countries appeared to have
  problems in achieving this, thus slowing down the process.

 Examples of good practice which have been demonstrated in a few countries (Finland
  and The Netherlands) should act as guidance for others.

 A key question, which has implications for the effectiveness of the CBD, was whether
  the Convention had actually changed policies and actions at the national level, or would
  these have happened without the Convention? The survey at this early stage of
  implementation of the CBD could not answer this question.

 The survey also showed that MSs were focusing efforts in the following sectors:
  environment, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and aquaculture, which were perceived
  to have the greatest priority for conservation.1

1   The European Community Strategy (see Section 2.4.2) has focused on similar sectors since 1998.

Box 2.1 Example of what can be found in one of the national websites of the Alpine region:
The Swiss Clearing House Mechanism

                                      The Swiss Clearing House Mechanism

                 The Swiss CHM Biodiversity website is divided into the following main headings:

Switzerland at a Glance                                  Goals
Geography                                                Guidelines and principles of action
Short Geographical Introduction                          Objectives at the national level
Geology and Hydrology                                    Monitoring biological diversity in Switzerland
Landscape                                                International efforts
                                                         Conventions and international processes
Biogeography and Biotopes                                Development cooperation
The Swiss biogeography and biotopes                      Trans-boundary collaboration
Switzerland's biological diversity
Land use                                                 Research and higher education

Current Problems                                         Services
Red Lists                                                Institutions
Introduction to the Red Lists                            Events (administered by the Swiss Biodiversity Forum)
Red Lists for Flora and Fauna                            Publications
                                                         Research projects (administered by the Swiss Biodiversity
Thematic maps                                            Forum)
Forest areas (114 KB)
Wetlands (103 KB)                                        Current
Amphibia / Ramsar sites / Waterfowl reserves (104 KB)    Latest updates
                                                         Current news: national and international
National Action Plan / International Efforts             Events: national and international
Legislation                                              Press articles: Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Le Temps
Introduction to Swiss Federalism                         Link of the month
Swiss Environmental Laws
Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)     CHM International
Other Conventions signed and ratified by Switzerland     Concept and Legislation
concerning Biodiversity                                  International Links
                                                         International News.
National Report of Switzerland for the Convention on
Biological Diversity

2.3.2 Ecological networks - focus on the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity
Strategy (PEBLDS)


The need to maintain large natural areas and ecological processes is a priority for
biodiversity conservation, and has prompted the development of ecological networks.
These usually consist of core areas, corridors, buffer zones and habitat restoration areas.
European initiatives related to this theme include:

 The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS);
 European Habitats Directive and Natura 2000 (see Section 2.4.1);
 The Emerald Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (supports the Bern
  Convention and complements the Natura 2000 Network outside the EU);
 IUCN’s Parks for Life.

The conservation of large unfragmented areas is also a clear priority for the Alpine region
(Grabherr G. et al. 2000). It is therefore important to note that, despite the range of
European initiatives listed above, a large part of such areas is still unprotected: only 4.2% of
the Alps are covered by national parks (EEA 1999).

This section focuses on the Pan-European Strategy (PEBLDS) for its combined emphasis on
biodiversity and landscapes which is critical to the Alpine region’s future, as well as to
many other areas of Europe. Indeed the emphasis on landscapes is recognised by
European institutions to be increasingly important for nature conservation. This is reflected
in the work of the EEA and in the EU’s programmes such as the European Spatial
Development Perspective (ESDP) and in Agenda 2000 (see Section 4.2).

The Pan-European Strategy and the Alps

PEBLDS is part of the “Environment for Europe” ministerial process organised within the
framework of the UNECE, and was endorsed at the conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1995. It
is the only pan-European policy framework on biodiversity that covers the entire European
region, and has the advantage of not limiting itself to the EU15, an important factor when
considering the Alpine eco-region.

Although it was endorsed in high-level international meetings, PEBLDS is not a legal
instrument. It provides a vision and a framework to promote a consistent approach and
common objectives for national and regional action to implement the CBD, and other
existing initiatives, as well as filling gaps where such initiatives are not being implemented
to their full potential. The legal basis for the Strategy’s implementation is in existing
instruments such as the CBD, the Bern, Bonn and Ramsar Conventions, the Habitats and
Birds EC Directives and national legislation.

PEBLDS is co-ordinated by a joint secretariat of the Council of Europe and UNEP. It focuses
on a 20-year period and a series of five-year action plans. The 1996-2000 Plan has 12 themes
co-ordinated by international organisations. Theme 10 is on “Mountain Ecosystems” and
focuses on the integration of mountains in the pan-European ecological network, the
establishment of sustainable practice for afforestation, mountain farming and recreation,
the potential application of the Alpine Convention for the Balkan, Carpathians and
Caucasus regions, and the establishment and strengthening of transfrontier protected areas.

Progress to date

The year 2000 has seen a turning point in the Pan European Strategy. At the 4th meeting of
the PEBLDS Council at Riga (in March) progress reports of the 12 Action Themes of the
previous Plan were presented (CoE and UNEP 2000a), followed by a discussion of the draft
new five-year Action Plan for 2001-2005 (CoE and UNEP 2000b).

The implementation of the Strategy has focused around its main Themes. Theme 10 is the
most directly relevant to the Alpine region, but by no means the only one (e.g. see also
Themes 1,2, 4, 8 and 9).1 The progress report on Theme 10 presented at Riga revealed that
the amount of work and results obtained since the launch of the Strategy have been clearly
hampered by a lack of funds and delays in contract negotiations. Real progress could only
be achieved on two out of the ten activities for the Mountain Ecosystems:

   Activity 10.5 minimisation of ecological impacts of recreational activities
   Activity 10.6 potential application of the mechanisms such as the Alpine Convention
    and its protocols and observation systems to other mountain ranges.

These are reviewed below.

Activity 10.5 - Access and conservation strategies for climbing areas

In 1996 IUCN was given the responsibility, in collaboration with UIAA, to implement
Activity 10.5. This led to a survey of existing restrictions on access for environmental
reasons and a seminar, organised by UIAA and IUCN in May 1998, to address the topic of
access and conservation strategies in climbing areas. It focused on maintaining the freedom
of access to mountains and cliffs, and the need to balance this freedom against the need to
protect the mountain environment from the effects of climbing. The trigger for this
initiative was the PEBLDS itself and the feeling by UIAA members that, due to the wording
in the Strategy, its objectives could potentially threaten the freedom to climb in Europe
(UIAA and IUCN 1998).

The Seminar highlighted a clear need for further scientific research to assess the impact of
recreational activities. To date, research has focused on the impacts of climbing on a
particular species (e.g. bird species) without extending to how such activities interfere with
other species. The impacts mentioned include: loss of biodiversity, massive or intrusive
changes to the landscape, climate change and pollution, overuse of sensitive areas (UIAA
and IUCN 1998).

The main outcome of the meeting was a set of proposed Guidelines on how to achieve the
optimum balance between the freedom of access and the need for conservation in European
and sub-Alpine climbing areas. A pamphlet summarising the Guidelines was produced
and distributed by UIAA and IUCN. Although formulated primarily for rock climbing on
crags and cliffs, the Guidelines may have general application in the Alpine zone.

1 The Themes refer to: 1) Establishing the Pan-European Ecological Network; 2) Integration of biological and
landscape diversity considerations into sectors; 4) Conservation of landscapes; 8) Grassland ecosystems; and 9)
Forest ecosystems. For a detailed overview of all Themes visit the web site:

An additional study has just been published by IUCN (Hanemann 2000) looking at the
sustainable management of climbing areas in Europe. This is actually related to PEBLDS
Activity 10.6 discussed below. The main issues raised are summarised below:

   There are over 1.6 million people actively involved in climbing in Europe, and rock
    climbing is growing steadily in popularity leading to an increase in international
    climbing tourism (and related travelling between countries);
   In general, international climbing tourism originates in western and central European
    countries (D, CH, GB, NL) and is directed mainly towards southern Europe(I, SLO, E,
   Most climbing areas are subject to conservation-related restrictions, but this is not
    always the main underlying reason for the limitation;
   Changes in the level of access to climbing sites has an impact on alternative locations,
    leading to overcrowding and increased private traffic;
   The tension between climbing activities and the objectives of Natura 2000 is a “source of
    confusion for climbing associations”;
   The power of media and other technical means to affect climbing management is often
    underestimated in southern Europe;
   It is essential to pursue the sustainable management of climbing areas in the spirit of
    Agenda 21, involving a large range of stakeholders in defining the concept of harmless
    climbing and setting up a follow-up process to ensure long term practice of sport
    climbing which will not harm the environment and will benefit society;
   The IUCN report concludes with a set of legal, environmental, organisational, sport
    ethics, research, economic and social objectives. It also includes a list of
    recommendations for the implementation of these objectives (Hanemann 2000).

Activity 10.6 - Some key issues on co-operation in the Alps

As part of the Action Theme 10 of the Pan-European Strategy (PEBLDS) the IUCN has
funded a study on co-operation in mountain ranges, including a review and assessment of
existing mechanisms for inter-governmental co-operation in the Alps. The study was led by
Martin Price, and the results were published in a document by IUCN (Price 1999).

Amongst the key reasons for the increasing attention to trans-frontier co-operation in the
Alps, Price points out:

   the rediscovery of regional identities;
   the strengthening of regional institutions;
   the increasing relevance of subsidiarity in relation to the implementation of EU policies;
   the “division” of ecosystems by the high Alpine ridges which often coincide with
    administrative boundaries, making it difficult to manage environmental resources and
    biodiversity; and
   the relevance of climate change in the Alpine region, and the inherent trans-boundary
    nature of its impacts (e.g. survival and distribution of species, interaction between
    species and land-uses, see also Section 4.5).

This resurgence of regionalism takes many forms: networks of individuals, communities,
and NGOs, to the establishment of formal structures (e.g. working communities like the
Alpen Adria) and conventions.1 The single most important initiative for cooperation in the
Alps is the Alpine Convention (see Section 3). The research for Activity 10.6 has resulted in
a number of important lessons. The following were considered particularly relevant to
inform any future initiative of WWF in the Alps:

   Awareness of the appropriate level of partnership within and between governments.
       The experience of the three main working communities in the Alps2 supports the
         role of the regional governments with a significant part of their territory in the
         Alps: they have clear common interests, and are often the ones who will
         implement initiatives in any key areas (including environmental protection).
       The experience of the Alpine Convention shows that the involvement of
         national level governments is crucial, especially if initiatives require the force of
         international law for ratification and implementation. A result of this is that
         much of the funding will come from central government sources.

   Flexibility
        There seems to be benefits in a flexible structure for cooperation, especially in
            terms of setting and reviewing priorities.

   Stakeholder involvement
        Experience from Switzerland and Austria shows that involving a large range of
          stakeholders in formulating priorities for the implementation of the Alpine
          Convention is very valuable in order to define strategies for the conservation of
          biological and landscape diversity, and for sustainable development.

   Multi-lingual approach
       Experience shows that there is a real need for translation of documents in all
           main languages. This has substantial cost implications.
       The experience of the working communities shows that the language of the chair
           is usually the primary language for the resulting documents.

Finally, the IUCN report concludes that “The success of the Strategy in mountain regions will
be based on the integration of its emphases on finding a balance between the conservation of
biological and landscape diversity and ensuring the economic and cultural future of mountain
populations. To a large extent... this will be done through contributions to initiatives which are
already ongoing or planned” (Price 1999). Whilst, the Progress Report presented at Riga (CoE
and UNEP 2000a) adds that “the greatest need is for a broad regional-scale consultation which
could be very appropriately supported by the Council”.

1 See also an initiative launched in 1996 by CIPRA called: La rete dei Comuni - Alleanza nelle Alpi, which aimed
to implement the Alpine Convention’s objectives at the municipal level (see web site:
2 The three communities are: ARGE ALP (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alpenlander established in 1972) in the central

Alps, Alpen-Adria(established in 1978) in the eastern Alps, and COTRAO (Communaute` de Travail des Alpes
Occidentales (established in 1982) in the western Alps.

The New Action Plan 2001-2005 and its relevance for WWF and the Alps

This appears to address some of the weaknesses of the first plan which was perhaps too
ambitious in the range of activities which it aimed to cover. The main elements of relevance
to the Alps are (CoE and UNEP 2000b):

   Enhanced co-operation between PEBLDS and relevant international processes, especially the
    CBD. This would help to focus on a biodiversity strategy in the Alps;

   Further integration of biological and landscape diversity considerations into sectoral policies.
    This places an emphasis on conservation outside protected areas (as well as inside) and
    may be an important opportunity for co-ordinated action in the Alpine region, perhaps
    focusing on a number of priority sectors such as agriculture, tourism and
    transport/climate change;
                 Planned actions include the preparation of recommendations for sectoral
                   integration in agriculture, at European and national levels (major
                   conference on Agriculture and Environment in 2003);
                 A contribution to the future rural development solutions for Europe;
                   integration of economic and land use sectors (forestry, tourism,

   Capacity building for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in CEECs;

   Establishment of the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN). There is a potentially strong
    link between this priority and the emphasis on the need to strengthen protection of
    remaining large natural areas, together with the need to develop better mechanisms for
    collaboration across international (and regional) borders in the Alps;

   Provision of information, enhancement of communication and raising awareness on the
    conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and

   Review, assessment, monitoring, reporting and funding.

2.3.3   European Landscape Convention

The European Landscape Convention is an initiative of the Council of Europe (CoE). The
recognition that much of the Alpine region is characterised by semi-natural and cultural
landscapes shaped by man’s economic and cultural activities, and the fact that an
important part of biodiversity depends on these landscapes and related habitats (e.g.
extensive agriculture patterns) makes this new Convention potentially very relevant.

The text of the Convention, prepared by the CoE, will be presented for signatures and
adoption at a meeting of Ministers responsible for landscape issues, which is due to take
place in Florence, in October 2000. It is therefore early days for an assessment of
effectiveness and this section looks at some of the promising aspects of the Convention
which are particularly relevant to a wide concept of biodiversity protection in the Alps.
The origins of the Convention relate to three main moments (CoE 2000b):

 The 1994 Resolution 256 of the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities
  of Europe which called on its succeeding body (the Council of Europe’s Congress of
  Local and Regional Authorities - CLRAE) “to draw up, on the basis of the Mediterranean
  Landscape Charter…, a framework convention on the management and protection of the natural
  and cultural landscape of Europe as a whole”;
 In 1995 the Landscape chapter in the EU’s Environment Agency’s “Europe’s
  Environment: the Dobrís assessment”, concludes hoping that the CoE would take the
  lead in drawing up a European convention on rural landscapes;
 IUCN’s Parks for Life also advocates an international convention on rural landscape
  protection in Europe, involving the CoE.

The Convention defines landscape as: “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the
result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (Convention, Article 1). It
calls for landscape to become a mainstream political concern “since it plays an important role
in the well being of Europeans who are no longer prepared to tolerate the alteration of their
surroundings by technical and economic developments in which they have no say” (CoE 2000b). It
provides a legal instrument exclusively dedicated to landscape, which can support
international co-operation. Indeed, the Convention recognises the need for transboundary

The aim is to reinforce local and regional identity and distinctiveness, which may help to
promote sustainable development of the area concerned. There is a recognition of the need
to strike a balance between preserving the natural and cultural heritage as a reflection of
European identity and diversity, and using it as an economic resource capable of
generating employment in the context of the boom in sustainable tourism (Preamble to the
Convention, CoE 2000a).

2.4 Review of selected Instruments- b)European Union Instruments

2.4.1 The Natura 2000 Network

Natura 2000 is a network of sites designated under two European Directives (92/43/EEC
and 79/409/EEC).

The 1992 Directive (known in short as the Habitats Directive) aims to conserve fauna, flora
and natural habitats of EU importance. The fundamental purpose of this directive is to
establish a network of protected areas throughout the Community designed to maintain
both the distribution and the abundance of threatened species and habitats, both terrestrial
and marine. The network of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) is called Natura 2000, and
will include Special Protection Areas (SPAs) of the 1979 Directive (known n short as Birds
Directive). Criteria for selection include priority habitats and species, as identified in the
Annexes to the 1992 Habitats Directive.

The distribution, by biogeographical regions, of habitats and species listed in the Habitats
Directive shows that the Alpine region makes a very important contribution to EU’s
biodiversity. It includes 100 listed habitats and 165 listed species (EC 2000a).

In the EU Alpine region mountain areas contain 16% of the sites of community interest
(SCIs), while the region area covers only 9% of the EU. The likelihood that these SCIs will
be selected as special conservation areas (SACs) is very high. The proposed sites in the
Alps tend to meet the criteria of a) strong relationship to migration routes, b) being part of
an ecosystem on both sides of EU frontiers (i.e. belonging to two Member States), and c) the
presence of a high number of annex I habitats and annex II species (see: Habitats Directive).

This likely high proportion of future SACs should be eventually reflected in national and
regional policies (EEA 1999).

Key Aspects for Consideration

It is not possible to summarise in this report the overall effectiveness of the Directives,
however, the following is a list of key aspects for consideration:

 Site Designation of SPAs - An important test for the Birds Directive is to establish
  whether the network of designated SPAs is adequate for its protection requirements and
  overall objectives. The coherence of the network of areas is analysed in the three year
  reports by the Commission. In the most recent one published this year (EC 2000b),
  which however refers to the years 1993-95, it is stated that by the end of 1995 only five
  countries had designated more than half of the Important Bird Areas1 within their
  territory, and that “major efforts” were still needed in most MSs .

 Site Designation Natura 2000 - WWF Austria has produced a “gap analysis” of the
  progress of Natura 2000 in all EU MSs. This reveals that the designation of sites is only

1The Important Bird Areas (IBAs) is a complete survey prepared with financial support of the European
Commission and published in 1989 (Grimmet R.F.A. and T.A. Jones “Important Bird Areas in Europe”). It
provides a valuable scientific basis for MSs to identify SPAs under the Birds Directive.

    “half way there”, confirming the results of the EC report mentioned in the previous

 Site Designation and the Structural Funds - The European Commission has taken a clear
  stance against those MSs which fail to designate sites for Natura 2000 and wish to obtain
  EU funding through the Structural Funds (see also Section 4.2). Since the start of
  negotiations for the new round of Funds (2000-2006) the Commission has informed MSs
  that it will block the Funds in areas where insufficient sites have been proposed for the
  implementation of the Habitat Directive.

 Site Management - The emphasis is slowly moving from site designation towards
  ensuring adequate site management. MSs have just begun to address this fundamental
  aspect of the network.

 Using European Structural Funds for Natura 2000 - The year 2000 is crucial for the
  definition and approval of programmes for the use of Structural Funds. The Directorate
  General Environment has (DG ENV) has emphasised, in collaboration with DG Regional
  Development (DG REGIO), that measures favourable for Natura 2000 sites should be
  integrated as early as possible into the regional and rural development programmes.
  Experience from the past funding period (1994-99) shows that the range of possibilities
  can cover contracts with farmers and foresters, or projects aimed at the commercial and
  tourist promotion of local products. Further help can be found by looking at the results
  of LIFE projects (see Section 2.4.3).

 The role of WWF-European Policy Office (EPO) - The EPO focuses on the following
  areas in relation to Natura 2000:

                 site designation (including lobbying for a link with Structural Funds);
                 site management (just started), especially looking at the integration of
                  conservation objectives in agriculture, forestry and freshwater practices;
                 information and raising awareness on Natura 2000 and all other aspects of
                  the Habitat Directive (this includes addressing problems like the tension
                  between designation and the rights of farmers); and
                 environmental liability.

2.4.2   European Community Biodiversity Strategy

This section focuses on the principal non-legislative biodiversity initiative of the EU.
Section 4 will look at the extensive range of non-biodiversity specific policies which can
have significant positive and negative impacts on the conservation objectives of the Alpine

The Community Biodiversity Strategy (COM(98) 42 final) was adopted in 1998. It provides
a framework for developing Community policies and instruments in order to comply with
the CBD. Its aim is “to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction or
loss of biodiversity at the source” (EC 1998).

The Strategy emphasises the relations with other sectors and policy areas:

1Personal comment by Sandra Jen, of the WWF-EPO office. For more information on the WWF Austria report,
contact Christoph Walder, WWF Austria.

          The conservation of natural resources;
          Agriculture;
          Fisheries;
          Regional policies and spatial planning;
          Development and economic co-operation;
          Forests; and
          Energy and Transport.

Action plans were envisaged for the first five sectors in the above list. To date, the
Commission services have produced specific strategies for conservation of natural
resources, agriculture and fisheries.

Box 2.2a A forthcoming review of EC and MSs strategies commissioned by DG
The Commission has presented a call for tenders for a:

Study on Complementarity in the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity by the European Community and
its Member States (closing date for proposals: September 2000).

The key objectives of the study are to assist in progressing the implementation of the CBD in the Community and to help in
identifying further actions required to achieve the objectives of the CBD in the EU by answering the following specific

 How are both the objectives set in the Community Biodiversity Strategy and the Community Measures identified in the
  first EC report to COP4 addressed in each Member State’s own National Biodiversity Strategy?
 What are the main gaps between the Community and the Member States’ strategic frameworks?
 How are the Community measures described in the first EC report to COP4 addressed in each member state’s own
 What is the state of play in the implementation of these Community measures at the Member State’s level?

This may provide further useful information for the countries in the Alpine region. The contact person at DG Environment is
Carlos Martin Novella.

2.4.3      The European LIFE Regulation


On 17.07.2000, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Regulation
1655/2000/EC concerning the financial instrument for the environment (LIFE). This
Regulation is the new legal basis for the third step of the LIFE instrument, from 2000 to
2004. LIFE consists of three thematic components: LIFE-Nature, LIFE-Environment and
LIFE-third countries. Most of the financial instruments of the European Union have an
element directly or indirectly concerning the environment, but LIFE is the only instrument,
which specifically supports the development and implementation of Community
environment policy. 1

The scope of LIFE is summarised below (EC 2000d):

      The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and
       development of Community environment policy and of environmental legislation, in
       particular regarding the integration of the environment into other policies, and to

1   For more information visit the web site:

     sustainable development1 in the Community.

    LIFE is a financial instrument for three major areas of action: Nature Environment, and
     Third Countries. While all three areas aim to improve the environment, each has its
     specific priorities.

              LIFE-Nature relates to actions aimed at the conservation of natural habitats and
               of wild fauna and flora of EU interest.
              LIFE-Environment relates to innovative demonstration actions for economic
               activities and local authorities as well as preparatory actions to support
               community legislation and policies.
              LIFE-Third Countries relates to technical assistance to third countries bordering
               the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas.

Box 2.2b describes LIFE Environment and Nature in greater detail.

Box 2.2b LIFE Environment and Nature

LIFE Nature

Within the meaning of LIFE, the nature conservation actions are those "required to maintain or restore the natural habitats
and the population of species of wild fauna and flora at a favourable status". In practice, LIFE-Nature must contribute to the
implementation of the "Birds" (79/409/EEC) and "Habitats" (92/43/EEC) Community directives and, in particular, to the
establishment of the European network of protected areas - NATURA 2000 - aiming at the on-site management and
conservation of the most valuable fauna and flora species and habitats in the Union. LIFE Nature is a budget line that can
enable new management techniques to be tested and will often promote strong integration at local level between nature
conservation activities and other sectoral initiatives, as well as create networks of experts. Thus, although it is a very small
source of funding compared with the Common Agriculture Policy, for example, it is considered effective in triggering more
substantial investments.


LIFE-Environment finances innovative pilot and demonstration actions aimed at:

    the integration of environmental considerations into land use development and planning, including in urban and
     coastal areas
    the promotion of the sustainable management of groundwater and surface water
    the minimisation of environmental impact of economic activities
    the prevention, recycling and sound management of waste streams
    the reduction of the environmental impact of products.

LIFE-Environment finances also Preparatory Actions, aiming at the development of new or revised Community
environmental policies.

The new round of funding - an opportunity

For the period 2000 – 2004, LIFE has a total proposed budget of 640 million Euro, 47% of
which is earmarked for LIFE-Environment projects in the European Union. Both branches
of LIFE may provide an additional source of funding for research in the Alps. In terms of
the LIFE Nature budget, 15% in 1996 and 25% in 1997 was dedicated to finance projects in
mountain areas, with a focus on large carnivore species protection (brown bear and wolf,

1         Sustainable development is meant in its three environmental, economic and social dimensions.

for more information, and a copy of reports, please visit the web site:

2.5 Conclusions

Section 2 has focused on the biodiversity policy scene. Of the various key policy areas and
legal instruments listed in Table 2.1, the following seem to have the greatest potential
relevance to the issues raised by Grabherr et al (2000):

   European Birds and Habitats Directives
   UN Convention on Biological Diversity
   European Community Biodiversity Strategy
   The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
   The Emerald Network
   Parks for Life.

The review of some of these key policies has revealed a number of problems and urgent
needs, but also several opportunities, including likely priorities for future action by WWF.

In terms of problems and needs, the following main areas can be highlighted:

   Problem: The percentage of the Alps’ surface area which is protected is still very low
    (the EEA calculated a mere 4.2% in 1999). The three-year report on the Birds Directive
    concludes that “major efforts” are still needed, and that only half Mss have designated
    more than 50% of their IBAs. Similar conclusions and figures are quoted in a more
    recent WWF Austria review of Natura 2000.

          Need: to speed up the designation of Natura 2000 and of the PEEN network
           under PEBLDS.

          Opportunity/priority: The link between Structural Funds and Natura 2000 is
           significant for two aspects: the need to designate sites has a certain effect as
           condition for the release of funding, and in addition, the new programme have
           the potential to provide resources for conservation objectives. WWF EPO
           activities should be noted.

          Need: to turn the Biodiversity Plans (from the European, national and local
           levels) into effective actions. More emphasis on good practice with a focus on
           mountain/Alpine regions.

          Opportunity/priority: The new Action Plan for PEBLDS (2001-2005) seems
           particularly relevant to some of the needs and problems highlighted above. in
           particular for its emphasis on increased cooperation with the CBD process,
           increased integration of biodiversity and landscape in economic sectors, and its
           focus on PEEN.

   Problem: Lack of funding, for example for initiatives such as Theme 10 of the PEBLDS
    action plan.

          Need: more funding.

          Opportunity/priority: Structural Funds, Interreg III and LIFE.

   Problem: There is still a lack of understanding of the impacts of tourism on biodiversity
    (most work to date has focused on a few typical species).

          Need: further scientific research on impacts such as loss of biodiversity, massive
           or intrusive changes to the landscape, climate change and pollution, overuse of
           sensitive areas.

   Problem: Despite several new policy initiatives, especially for networks of protected
    areas, the Alpine region still lacks coordination in key areas such as protection.

                  Opportunity/priority: If WWF chooses to co-ordinate a number of
                   initiatives (both strictly related to biodiversity, and also relating to
                   specific sectors, see Section 4), it should bear in mind: the need for an
                   appropriate level of partnership within and between governments, the
                   need for flexibility in setting and reviewing priorities, the need to involve
                   a wide range of stakeholders and the need to adopt a multilingual

                   In this regard, the latest progress report on PEBLDS (Theme 10)
                   highlights the need for “a broad regional-scale consultation” to ensure
                   the Strategy’s success in the Alps. This may provide opportunities for
                   synergies and collaboration.

   Opportunity/priority: The increasing focus on landscape as well as nature and
    biodiversity offers a wider framework for action and a strengthening of the identity and
    distinctiveness of the Alps . If WWF were to judge that this is a useful area to focus on,
    the Landscape Convention and PEBLDS may help in promoting the context for
    international cooperation.

   Opportunity/priority: The wide range of ecological networks being “built” in the
    region offers an important policy response to the three main pressures identified in the
    Biodiversity Assessment of Grabherr et al, 2000 (see Section 2.1).

   Need/priority: There is a need to balance the need for conservation (Natura 2000 etc)
    and the freedom of access to the more sensitive areas (e.g. climbing activities).

   Opportunity/priority: To support the objectives and recommendations of IUCN: its
    recent report on climbing provides a set of legal, environmental, organisational, sport
    ethics, research, economic and social objectives. It also includes a list of
    recommendations for the implementation of these objectives.

   Opportunity/priority: To increase the attention to trans-frontier cooperation in the

3. Convention on the Protection of the Alps
3.1 Introduction

This section is devoted to the Alpine Convention: the only international initiative which is
entirely focused on the region’s characteristics and needs, and which looks at both
conservation and development issues, providing and important reference point for the
future WWF initiative, both for its strengths and for the difficulties it is encountering.

The Alpine Convention was first conceived in 1952, when CIPRA was founded. It was
finally signed in 1991 by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland,
Slovenia (1993), the Principality of Monaco (1994) and the European Community.1 It’s
objective is the conservation and protection of the alpine region and its sustainable

The Convention recognises the special natural and cultural diversity of the Alps and states
that “[they are] an economic, cultural, recreational and living environment in the heart of Europe,
shared by numerous peoples and countries” (Convention’s Preamble). At the heart of the
Convention lies the realisation of the need to address the tension between economic and
ecological needs: “[the] economic interests to be reconciled with ecological requirements”
(Convention’s Preamble).

One of the Convention’s major contributions is to foster co-operation between the Alpine
states and to strengthen the awareness of the Alps as a region with its own identity.

1 Council Decision of 26 February 1996 concerning the conclusion of the Convention on the protection of the
Alps (96/191/EC). See
2 Sources of detailed information quoted by Martin Price (1999):

 A summary of the history, status and implications of the convention and its protocols in all Alpine key
    languages was published in 1998 by the Government of Slovenia, Ministry of the Environment and Physical
    Planning, by V.K. PlaninŠic.
 The CIPRA web site ( provides the text of the convention and its protocols, and
    information on current activities.
 Considerable information on the implementation of the Alpine Convention can be found for example in the
    reports on status of implementation regularly produced by the Austrian Alpine Club.

Table 3.1 The Framework Convention (Alpine Convention)
           Signature                    Publication                     Ratification has been   Date of entry into
                                                                              deposited               force

A          07.11.91     Bundesgesetzblatt Nr.477/1995 vom                     08.02.94              06.03.95
CH         07.11.91     .                                                     28.01.99              28.04.99
D          07.11.91     Bundesgesetzblatt Teil II Nr.46/1994 vom              05.12.94              06.03.95
F          07.11.91     Journal officiel Nr.95 1270 vom 7.12.1995             15.01.96              15.04.96
FL         07.11.91     Liechtensteinisches Landesgesetzblatt                 28.07.94              06.03.95
I          07.11.91     .                                                     .27.12.99             27.03.00
MC         20.12.94     .                                           .                                   .
SLO        29.03.93     Uradni list Republike Slovenije (Mednarodne           22.05.95              22.08.95
                        pogodbe) Nr.19/Beilage Nr.5 vom 31.3.1995
EU         07.11.91     Gazzetta ufficiale della Comunità Europea                                   14.04.98
                        n° L61/31-36 de 2.3.1996


European outline convention on mountain regions

In Recommendation 75 (2000) on the draft European outline convention on mountain
regions (Council of Europe’s CLRAE), the local and regional authorities of mountain
regions are calling for this type of international legal instrument to ensure, as part of an
overall policy on sustainable spatial development, the necessary conditions for promoting
the socio-economic development of mountain populations while respecting their
environment (CLRAE 2000).

The proposed convention should be considered as a framework convention. It is intended
to be complementary to the Alpine Convention, and aims to provide an overall framework
for similar initiatives focusing on mountain areas throughout Europe.1

3.2 The Protocols

The Convention (Article 2) calls for the Parties to agree on protocols which provide details
on how to implement the Convention and include greater policy content compared to the
Convention text. To date, eight Protocols have been prepared and signed (see Table 3.2),
and another one on Transport is finally ready (for details on this, please see Section 4.4).

The importance of protocols is highlighted by Price (1999): “ the existence of signed protocols
is a measure of the success of implementation”. Nonetheless, existing protocols need to be
harmonised, both between Protocols, and with national and European legislation. There
are also problems which the language used and the translations. Seven Protocols were
finally harmonised this year. This will enable each country to proceed with ratification.
However, lack of political will and difficult negotiations, together with the absence of a

1   Personal comment by Riccardo Priore (September 2000), of the Council of Europe.

Permanent Secretariat to push forward progress and implementation, have been a major
obstacle to date.

Table 3.2 Signature and ratification of Protocols (1994-98)
                      A            CH              D              F         FL             I             MC            SLO             EU
Nature and landscape protection
signed           .            .16.10.98         20.12.94       20.12.94 .16.10.98       20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
deposited        .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
Mountain Agriculture
signed           .            .16.10.98         20.12.94       20.12.94 16.10.98    20.12.94           20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
deposited        .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
Land-use planning and Sustainable Development
signed           .            .16.10.98         20.12.94                .16.10.98       20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
deposited        .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
Mountain Forests
signed        .               .16.10.98         27.02.96       28.02.96 .16.10.98       01.03.96       02.03.96       03.03.96
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
deposited        .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
signed                 .      16.10.98      16.10.98       .            16.10.98    .              16.10.98       16.10.98       .
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
deposited        .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
signed           .            .             16.10.98       .            .           .              .              16.10.98       .
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
deposited        .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
Soil conservation and protection
signed          .          16.10.98         16.10.98       .            16.10.98    .              16.10.98       16.10.98       .
ratified         .            .             .              .            .           .              .              .              .
Supplementary Protocol for Monaco
signed        20.12.94 20.12.94             20.12.94       20.12.94     20.12.94    20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94       20.12.94
ratified      08.07.97    28.01.99          22.12.98       13.04.95     16.03.95                   26.01.95       22.05.95       14.01.98
working from 22.03.99 28.04.99              22.03.99       22.03.99     22.03.99                   22.03.99       22.03.99       22.03.99


3.2.1      Catalogue of Alpine Data Sources

The Convention has also the aim of disseminating more widely and effectively information
on the region. A Catalogue of Alpine Data Sources (Alpine CDS) is being set up (see Box
3.1). Annex 2 lists the potential Alpine-CDS organisations, providing a valuable list of
organisations involved in a wide range of activities in the region. Until recently, this
initiative received primary support from the European Commission. It is now having to
find alternative sources of funding and a number of organisations would be interested in
housing the system, including the EEA and UNEP-GRID.

Box 3.1 The Catalogue of Environmental Data Sources for the Alps (CDS)

The Alpine-CDS is part of the Alpine Convention’s policy of disseminating information. The establishment of a Catalogue of
Alpine Data Sources forms part of the tasks defined by the Alpine Convention. Its objective is to harmonise metadata and to
improve accessibility to existing data.
The Alpine-CDS is being developed jointly by the System for Observation of and Information on the Alps (JRC/SOIA – of the Alpine Convention, co-ordinated by the Environment Institute of the European Commission
(, the Global Resources Information Database (DEIA&EW/GRID Geneva – of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Swiss Agency for the
Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL – with the support of the University of Geneva.
The alpine catalogue of metadata on the environment is currently being populated with information (databases, maps,
reports, projects, models, institutions, experts) about international organisations and national research institutions (scientific
centres, universities and other colleges) situated outside the signatory states of the Convention.
The Alpine Convention countries provide the Alpine-CDS with national data including research activities findings on the
Alps, depending on their work programme.

For more information see also:

3.3 CIPRA’s Role and Action Plan

The International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) was created in 1952
and is now an NGO with over 100 member organisations in seven Alpine States.1 CIPRA
aims to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps. Amongst the key objectives of
CIPRA is the protection and conservation of the Alps biodiversity, and the active pursuit of
transnational solutions to common problems. Both these aims are tightly linked to WWF’s
ideas for action in the area.

CIPRA plays a key role in promoting the Convention, and in attempting to progress
implementation of its protocols. It expects the next Alpine Conference of Environmental
Ministers in Lucerne (October 2000) to be a decisive one for the future of the Convention as
a whole. The key issue to be discussed will be the Transport Protocol. This particular
protocol has dictated the fate of most of the activities under the Convention, since Austria
has decided not to sign any Protocols until it was satisfied with the text of the Transport
one. In turn, the Austrian position had an impact on all other States, who chose to take a
rather low profile approach to the entire Convention. As a result, the last few years have
witnessed little activity from the States involved.

It is hoped that the next Alpine Conference will sign a turning point in the last ten years of
negotiations. At this meeting an important discussion is also scheduled with regards to a

1   See web site:

Permanent Secretariat (see below). This year CIPRA has also produced an important paper
on its position on the Convention ( This sets out the conditions
for implementation (Box 3.2) and is intended to influence the next phase in the life of the

Box 3.2 CIPRA’s Conditions for implementation

 CIPRA has highlighted some conditions to implement the Convention. They are as follows:

   Ensure that, after their ratification, the Alpine Convention dispositions and protocols are included into the national,
    regional and local legislations, when required by the legislation itself of the individual member States and by European
   Ratification of the signed protocols; elaboration of the new ones;
   Creation of a Permanent Secretariat;
   Ensure that monitoring of the Alps is undertaken and information is distributed;
   Ensure interested parties are able to participate;
   Ensure the recommended measures are binding;
   Ensure financial resources are allocated;
   Permanent information.

3.4 Problems and Obstacles

The Alpine Convention is widely cited as a successful example of regional co-operation.
Yet, its implementation has met numerous obstacles. Significant delays in the definition,
signature and ratification of its protocols are a growing impediment to the Convention’s

Lack of political will seems to be one of the main sources of difficulty (Price 1999). To date,
the main body of work relates to the Transport Protocol and yet progress has been slow
even on this front. Some of the reasons for these difficulties can actually be taken as more
general sources of problems for cross border initiatives in the Alpine region. These are
summarised below:

 Involvement of a large number of ministries (in this case not only Transport ministries);
 Many ministries and government bodies linked to transport are subject to considerable
  pressures to the industrial lobby;
 In many Alpine states environmental protection is the responsibility of sub-national
  entities, rather than of the central government which negotiates protocols. This leads to
  internal tensions and subsequent delays;
 The location of the Alps makes it a difficult and yet unavoidable transport axis (north-
  south), leading to strong tension between Alpine and European dimension of the issues
  at stake: “as the issues addressed by the Protocols become more tendentious, and political forces
  with a European, rather than Alpine, dimension come into play, progress of overall
  implementation has been further delayed” (Price 1999).

Other difficulties include:

 The activities of co-ordination - for example: in terms of regional approaches and
  initiatives, these are mainly undertaken by the scientific community and NGOs, rather
  than at political and policy levels;
 Although some progress has been achieved in terms of co-operation between levels of
  government (i.e. within individual states), this is still very slow. Part of the problem is
  the fact that the history of the negotiation and signature of the Convention was
  dominated by national governments with “little if any consultation” (Price 1999).

The need for a Permanent Secretariat

Finally, CIPRA highlights the urgent need for a Permanent Secretariat. It argues that there
is ample evidence whereby comparable international conventions succeed thanks to the
existence of a permanent and active body which can:

     co-ordinate implementation
     control implementation
     collect and publish studies
     act as an interface with the media.

Next October (2000), the 6th Alpine Conference is expected to give the Permanent
Committee the powers to launch a call for tender for a Permanent Secretariat.1 This decision
is also linked to the approval, or otherwise, of the Transport Protocol.

3.5 Conclusions and Future Outlook

The extensive delays in the definition and approval of Protocols makes it difficult to judge
the effectiveness of such an initiative. The aims and spirit of the Convention seem to reflect
many of the priorities for action in the Alps in order to progress towards more effective
nature conservation and sustainable development. The fact that the Convention was signed
by the European Community is also promising, since it enables organisations such as WWF
to link any activity on key EU policy areas to the framework and protocols of the

It may be useful to focus on ensuring the co-ordination between EU sectoral policies and
the objectives and initiatives resulting from the related Protocols to the Convention. To
date the European Commission has played a rather passive role and has been present only
at a few meetings of the Transport Working Group. In the future it should take clear
responsibility for co-ordination between its policies and the those of the Convention.

During the 1990s there has been progress especially thanks to the very active involvement
of NGOs which have been able to mobilize local communities as well as national
governments in organising themselves and progressing some aspects of the Convention, in
particular with regard to nature conservation, but not only this.

1   The Alpine Conference includes Environment Ministries of the Alpine countries and of the EU.

Amongst the interesting cases are:

 Réseau Alpin des Espaces Protégés ( - which has the support of
all States party to the Convention; and
 Alliance dans les Alps - which has supported a substantial activity in terms of exchange
of information and experiences between over 100 communes.

However, to date this instrument has struggled to make progress, also due to lack of
political will and insufficient consultation (e.g. between national and local governments)
earlier on during the definition of the text of the Convention. In 1998 CIPRA pointed out
that the problems highlighted at the Change Conference in 1992, which intended to draw
conclusions on the mid-term progress of the Convention, were still all relevant. Some are
worth pointing out even today, for consideration by WWF (see list of needs and
opportunities below).

Needs and Opportunities:

 The Convention is the only international initiative entirely focused on the Alpine
  region’s characteristics and needs. It addresses the tensions between conservation and
  development, and fosters cooperation between the Alpine States. CIPRA also pursues
  transnational solutions for common problems;
 Protocols should not focus on the lowest common denominator, instead, they should
  aim to reach the level of the most advanced states, and they should include deadlines for
  all parties;
 The Convention emphasises the need for wide dissemination of information on the
  region (e.g. CDS);
 The population of the Alps should be invited to be much more involved in the
  implementation of the Convention and in the decision-making processes;
 There is an urgent need for a Permanent Secretariat;
 To achieve an “Alpine awareness”, it is necessary to promote an information campaign
  throughout the Alps; and
 The European Regional Policy should take into greater consideration the Alps. In
  particular, the funding instruments should be revised bearing in mind the characteristics
  of the Alpine ecology.

4. The “Sectoral” Policy Scene
4.1 Defining the study area

The second major task of the Policy Assessment, as described in Section 1.1, is to analyse
the implications of sectoral policies. There is a wide range of economic and sectoral policies
which can have a combination of positive, and/or negative impacts on biodiversity in the
Alpine region. This study focuses on the following sectors and areas:

   Funding mechanisms for Regional Development
   Agriculture
   Forestry
   Rural Development
   Transport
   Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change.

These policies are considered to be amongst the most relevant in terms of their potential
positive and negative impact on biodiversity in the Alps. Table 4.1 looks at a range of
sectoral policies, including those discussed in the socio-economic assessment by Bätzing
(2000), and summarises the connections between:

 selected sectors and economic activities relevant in the Alps (column 1),
 their link to the three main types of ecologically relevant landscapes (column 2, see also
  Table notes),
 the type of pressure or positive impact these sectors may cause (column 3), and
 the implications of such pressures or positive impacts on biodiversity conservation
  (column 4, note that the three negative impact categories listed here are based on the key
  pressures identified in the biodiversity assessment by Grabherr et al, 2000).

The positive impacts on biodiversity which some of these sectors can produce, especially
agriculture and rural development, are discussed in Sections 4.2-4.5 below.

Table 4.1 Summary of the main sectoral policy areas and the type of negative impact
they can cause

Sector/eco       Ecologically        Example of the type of pressure caused              Potential implications for biodiversity
nomic            relevant landscape                                                      conservation
activity         type* affected (Yes                                                     (Yes = sector can have this type of
                 = relevant)                                                             impact)
                 Narro Tape    Islan                                                      Impoveris       Decreasin     Fragm
                 w     corri   d                                                          hment and       g species     entatio
                 corri dors    patch                                                      loss of         population    n
                 dors          es                                                         habitats        s

Agriculture      Yes    Yes?           Alpine farming abandonment                          Yes– also loss
                                                                                           of cultural
                 Yes                   Introduction of industrial agriculture leads to the Yes            Yes          Yes
                                       replacement of meadows and pastures. More
                                       access roads. Manure is being used on natural
Forestry         Yes?   Yes            Forest clearing.                                    Yes            Yes
Transport        Yes    Yes    Yes     Emissions contribute to global warming.             Yes
                 Yes    Yes            Transport infrastructure fragments habitat and      Yes            Yes          Yes
                                       interrupts corridors.
Climate          Yes    Yes    Yes     Climate change and global warming                   Yes            Yes
Urbanisation     Yes    Yes?           Interruption and misuse of sites and migration                    Yes           Yes
                                       Site disturbance and over-exploitation of sites
                                       close to tourist centres.
Energy           Yes                   Power plants for electricity production lead to    Yes            Yes           Yes
                                       barriers along most large rivers, interrupting
                                       migration and changing the hydrology.
Tourism                 Yes            Cable cars and skiing areas can interrupt these Yes                             Yes
                                       corridors, particularly forest belts. Snow mobiles
                                       disturb wildlife.
Leisure/touris          Yes    Yes     Hunting                                                           Yes
* = This distinction between ecologically relevant landscapes is based on the work of Prof. Georg Grabherr et al. “The Alps’
Biodiversity Assessment” (2000): “Ecological relevant patterns at the landscape level appear when viewing the Alps from
above. Three general types can be distinguished: 1. The deep main valleys (= zone below 800m) representing narrow
corridors; 2. The tape-like corridors of the mountain forests (=zone between 800 –2000m), and 3. The island-like
patches of the areas above tree line”.

4.2 Funding mechanisms for regional development

4.2.1 The Structural Funds and other mechanisms

Article 158 of the EU Treaty states that, in order to strengthen its economic and social
cohesion, the Community shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of
development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least-favoured regions or
islands, including rural areas. Article 159 provides for that action to be supported through
the Structural Funds, as well as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the other existing
financial instruments.

In 1999 the Council of the European Union approved a Council Regulation (No 1260/1999
of 21 June 1999) laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds. Article 1 presents
their “Objectives”:1

        “Community action through the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural
        Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), Guarantee Section, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and
        the other existing financial instruments shall support the achievement of the general objectives set out
        in Articles 158 and 160 of the Treaty. The Structural Funds, the EIB and the other existing financial
        instruments shall each contribute in appropriate fashion to the attainment of the following three
        priority objectives:

        1. promoting the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is
        lagging behind, hereinafter referred to as "Objective 1”;
        2. supporting the economic and social conversion of areas facing structural difficulties, hereinafter
        referred to as "Objective 2”;
        3. supporting the adaptation and modernisation of policies and systems of education, training and
        employment, hereinafter referred to as "Objective 3”. This objective shall provide financial assistance
        outside the regions covered by Objective 1 and provide a policy frame of reference for all measures to
        promote human resources in a national territory without prejudice to the specific features of each

        In pursuing these objectives, the Community shall contribute to the harmonious, balanced and
        sustainable development of economic activities, the development of employment and human
        resources, the protection and improvement of the environment, and the elimination of inequalities, and
        the promotion of equality between men and women”.

Structural Funds therefore support the European Regional Policy. They account for
approximately one third of the total EU budget, and it is through these funds that the EU
also participates in the development of the mountain regions (see specific examples below).
In countries which are part of the Alpine area, the Funds support projects implemented in
regions that are “lagging behind” (Objective 1 regions) and those that are in the process of
“conversion” (Objective 2 regions).

A summary of the objectives of the different types of Structural Funds is provided in Box
4.1. The EU also assists mountain areas through community initiatives for rural
development ad cross border/ transnational co-operation (e.g. Interreg III). Finally, the
agri-environment measures in the context of rural and agricultural policies are also highly
relevant to mountain areas. These are discussed in the following paragraphs.

1The full text of the Regulation can be found at the following web site:

Box 4.1 Introduction to the Structural Funds Priority Objectives for 2000-2006

The main Funds of relevance to the Alpine Region are:

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ERDF was set up in 1975 to provide financial support to regional development programmes targeted at the most
disadvantaged regions. Its aim is to help reduce socio-economic imbalances between regions of the Union. In the period
2000-06, the ERDF grants financial assistance under the Structural Funds' two regional objectives (1 and 2).

The European Social Fund (ESF)
Established in 1960, the ESF is the main instrument of Community social policy. In the period 2000-06, it provides financial
assistance for vocational training, retraining and job creation schemes under Objective 3 as well as for projects under
Objectives 1 and 2 of the Structural Funds. ESF assistance is targeted particularly at unemployed youth, the long-term
unemployed, and socially disadvantaged groups and women.

The European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), Guidance Section
The EAGGF is the financial instrument for rural development policy, the second pillar of the common agricultural policy. It
finances development in rural areas throughout the European Union. The EAGGF is divided into two sections: the
Guidance Section supports rural development measures in Objective 1 areas, while the Guarantee Section operates in the
other areas.

4.2.2     Development funds for the Alps and other mountain regions

The Commission highlights eight different approaches to its provision of financial support
in mountain areas (EC 2000c):

    Investing in innovation and quality
     Past example: Lavender re-launch plan in the southern Alps (1994-99 Objective 5b
     programme. Contact: email;

    Acquiring increasingly specialised skills
     Past example: Diversification for farmers in Bavaria: from phyto to hippotherapy (1994-
     99 Objective 5b programme. Contact:;

    Developing tourism within limits
     Past example: Highland Walking Festival, Scotland (Leader II programme. Contact:

    Building the necessary infrastructure
     Past example: A regeneration project both to allow tourism development and to attract
     small and medium-sized business (1994-99 Objective 1 programme. Contact:;

    Taking the path to sustainable development
     Past example: Training sheepdogs for reindeer farming in Lapland (1994-99 Objective 6
     programme. Contact email:;

    Supporting dynamic local development
     Past example: Support for the traditional spectacles industry between Belluno and the
     Upper Jura (Leader project. Contact email:

     Drawing on a supra-regional reality
      Past example: Providing essential public and private services to rural mountain regions
      through a postal service telematics network- job offers, libraries, bank transactions etc.
      (Structural Funds Article 10 pilot project. Contact;

     Opening to the East.
      Past example: Launch and expansion of berry-farming in the region between Austria
      and Slovenia (Interreg IIA. Contact Mr Johan Richer tel. 00 43 31 5724 46).

Most of these can be relevant to the objective of biodiversity conservation in the Alps. Some
will provide a direct contribution to the objective, others will be more indirect in their
effect, especially by addressing sectoral and social problems some of the above approaches
may promote alternative activities which will reduce the rate of abandonment of certain
mountain communities.

4.2.3      The Funds and Natura 2000

An important development has taken place during the new round of funds (2000-2006).
The Commission has finally taken a clear stance in relation to the link between the use of
Regional Policy funds and the need to comply with EU nature conservation legislation, and
most notably with the development and protection of Natura 2000. On the one hand, this is
meant as a reminder by the Commission, whereby delay in site designation can have
negative effects on a MS’s ability to obtain funding. On the other hand, the clear link with
Natura 2000 should open an important opportunity to influence the next funding
programmes in the Alpine region so that they make a maximum positive contribution to
the achievement of Natura 2000 objectives (both in terms of protection and enhancement).

Indeed, WWF-EPO is now seeking to link Structural Funds to site management. It also aims
to screen proposals for the 2000-2006 Structural Funds Programmes to check whether they
may be a potential threat to Natura 2000 sites.

WWF Austria has already completed such screening in relation to the rural development

4.2.4      Community Initiatives – INTERREG III

Interreg is a European Community Instrument which provides financial support to
initiatives amongst regions in the EU. It’s focus on cross-border cooperation makes it
particularly relevant to the Alpine area.

The main aim of the new Interreg programme (Interreg III) remains to strengthen cross-
border cooperation to promote balanced development and European integration. The new
initiative takes forward Interreg II measures and adds to them cooperation between non-
adjacent regions. Strengthening this type of action is all the more important given that the
European Union is in the process of enlargement, which will increase its number of internal
borders by progressively moving its external borders towards the East.

For the period 2000-2006, Interreg III has a budget of 4,875 million euro (1999 prices). The
Interreg III initiative receives co-financing from the Commission and the Member States.

1   For more information, please contact WWF Austria, Simon Lughofer.

The ERDF contribution will not exceed 75% of the total programme cost in Objective 1
regions and 50% in Objective 2 regions, which are the most common type in the Alpine

The Commission has proposed a financial allocation per Member State. It is based
primarily on population rates in the internal border areas of the EU, ultra-peripheral
regions or border areas with Central and Eastern European countries. Between 50% and
80% of the national envelopes must be allocated to cross-border cooperation and 6% to
interregional cooperation.

Indicative allocation per Member State (million euro - 1999 prices):

    Country     Interreg III
      D             737
      F             397
       I            426
      A             183
    EUR15          4875

Four Alpine countries will receive a total of 1182 Mill. euros.

Third countries taking part in Interreg III initiatives may lead to financial assistance for
their cooperation from the PHARE programme, national PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD
programmes. In addition, loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) may also be
available. Depending on the requirements, proposals submitted under Interreg III may
receive Commission funding for technical assistance in designing, financing and
implementing initiatives.

The three main areas of interest for Interreg are:

    Strand A: cross-border cooperation
    Strand B: transnational cooperation
    Strand C: interregional cooperation.

Strands A and B are described in more detail in the Boxes below. Annex 4 presents a series
of examples in Alpine regions, based on the previous initiative - Interreg II. These examples
give a flavour of the type of projects supported in these regions, and the potential benefits
which they can bring to biodiversity and sustainable development.

CIPRA has highlighted the importance of Interreg IIIB, recognising its potential as funding
source for the implementation of the Convention.

Box 4.2 Interreg 2000-2006: Cross-border cooperation

Cross-border cooperation between adjacent regions aims to develop cross-border social and economic centres through
common development strategies.

Eligible areas
Eligible areas See the map of regions and areas where Interreg III A projects may be developed Areas eligible under
Interreg III strand A are:·

    All NUTS III areas situated along the internal and external land borders of the European Union
    Certain NUTS III maritime areas.

In some cases, NUTS III areas adjacent to the areas mentioned above may also be eligible for funding. This is also true for
areas which are not classed as NUTS III, but which are enclosed within a region with NUTS III areas that lie along a border
or in a region where such areas adjoin others running along the borders. In both cases, eligibility for funding is granted,
provided they do not account for more than 20% of the total spending for the Interreg programme concerned.

Priorities for action which may be relevant to WWF’s Alpine Programme
 Measures for environmental protection, improving energy efficiency and renewable energy sources;
 Increasing human and institutional potential for cross-border cooperation.

Box 4.3 Interreg 2000-2006: Transnational cooperation

Transnational cooperation between national, regional and local authorities aims to promote better integration within the
Union through the formation of large groups of European regions. It also promotes sustainable and balanced development
within the Union and better integration between the 15 Member States and candidate countries and other neighbouring

Within strand B, particular emphasis is placed on ultra-peripheral regions and island regions. It also provides opportunities
for promoting cooperation between groups of regions facing common problems, such as mountainous areas.

Eligible areas
The EU as a whole and its neighbouring regions are eligible for transnational cooperation support. In order to draw up
programmes, regional groups have been set up on the basis of the areas covered by 1994-1999 Interreg II C programmes
(spatial planning) and pilot projects run within the framework of spatial planning under article 10 of the former ERDF
regulation for 1994-1999. The following map shows the area in the Alps:

Priorities for action which may be relevant to WWF’s Alpine Programme
 Drawing up regional development strategies at transnational level, including cooperation between towns or urban
     areas and rural areas;
 Promoting protection of the environment and natural resources.

4.2.5   European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP)

Following ten years of study and discussion, the EU15 and the Commission adopted a
European Spatial Development Perspective in 1999.1 This promotes a common approach to
regional planning which is particularly useful for mountain regions, as these are directly
affected by three major fields of action under ESDP:

   polycentric spatial development and a new relationship between cities and the
   equivalent access to infrastructure and know-how;
   prudent management of nature and farming.

However, ESDP remains a “lame duck” in terms of the level of impact it can have on
Member States, since there is no legal framework within which the EC can impose actions
for spatial planning. Nonetheless, the Perspective has triggered a wide range of studies and
an increasing opportunity for debate and awareness raising of the very important spatial
implications of the main EU policy areas (agriculture, regional development and transport)
and of eco-regions like that of the Alps. The benefits of this slow move towards some
sectoral integration should not be underestimated. 2

4.2.6   Conclusions - problems and opportunities

The Problems
The European funding mechanisms for regional development have historically produced
very mixed results in terms of environmental and sustainability objectives (Bina, Cuff and
Lake, 1997). Thus, EC financial support in mountain areas can have a negative impact, for
example through the funding of large infrastructure projects (in the energy, transport or
tourism sectors, as well as in agriculture and forestry) within or in proximity of sensitive
areas and protected areas.

Opportunities and/or priorities
 The programmes for Objective 1 and 2 regions are being finalised in the next few
  months. An assessment of their likely impacts and contributions to biodiversity
  objectives for the Alps should be done as soon as possible, before single projects are
  selected and given the go ahead. The EC Regulations for Structural Funds call for a
  strategic assessment of environmental implications, this may provide a good starting

   The increasingly explicit link between Natura 2000 and the Structural Funds is raising
    the need for progress on designation, and the opportunity top use funds to contribute
    to the objectives of Natura 2000. It is important to establish whether such a link has
    been effective during the negotiations for the programmes and have influenced the
    content of such documents. WWF-EPO is working on these issues.

1Visit the web site:
2For more information, please contact the Council for the Protection of Rural England
(, a UK NGO which is following the development of ESDP on
behalf of the European Environmental Bureau.

   Also according to CIPRA, the next Interreg programme seems to offer important
    opportunities for the implementation of the Alpine Convention. Depending on WWF’s
    future priorities for the area, Interreg III may provide financial support through
    initiatives relating to any of these categories:

          Measures for environmental protection, improving energy efficiency and
           renewable energy sources;
          Increasing human and institutional potential for cross-border cooperation.
          Drawing up regional development strategies at transnational level, including
           cooperation between towns or urban areas and rural areas;
          Promoting protection of the environment and natural resources.

4.3 Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry

4.3.1 Introduction

Mountain areas have witnessed a slow shift from primary to tertiary sectors. This has very
significant implications for the Alps, which have seen traditional and sustainable activities
being substituted by pure economically oriented activities (e.g. people once working in a
combination of agriculture, pastoralism, and dairy farming, are now likely to be employed
in the tourist business or industry).

“Agriculture alone is no longer an economic pillar for mountain areas” (EEA 1999).

Economic pressures have led to two trends in Alpine agriculture:

1. In valleys, high mountain pastures, and good accessible slopes, it has led to
2. In other areas it has led to extensification in terms of abandonment or afforestation
   (partly the inevitable result of abandonment).

Both trends can lead to a significant decline in biodiversity (EEA 1999), especially where
they lead to a loss of meadows between 600 and 2000-2400 meters above sea level. The
setting-aside and abandonment of land may in some areas lead to growth of unfragmented
areas, as reported from some French Alpine valleys, although land abandonment can harm
biodiversity (see Biodiversity assessment).

The European Common Agriculture Policy contributes in varying degrees to both trends,
but it also has the potential to stop and even reverse them depending on how its policies
are interpreted and implemented by Alpine Member States. It is therefore an important
policy area for this study.

4.3.2      The European Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the Rural Development

Introduction and key changes to the CAP during the 1990s

The CAP is the most important Common Policy and a central element of the EU’s
institutional and financial support systems. The influence it has on rural areas in all EU
countries makes it a major factor in nature protection. The 1992 reform of the CAP
introduced, amongst others, a combination of environmental policies with agricultural
market and income policies in a mutually beneficial way. These agri-environment
measures, as they are now known, have been very successful in providing direct support to
nature protection.

In 1998 the Commission launched Agenda 2000, a strategy for strengthening growth,
competitiveness and employment, and for extending the Union’s borders through
enlargement to the East. In terms of the CAP, it reinforces the target of agri-environmental
policy as the main strategy for integrating environment into the CAP and broader rural
development.1 The general orientation is that farmers should observe a minimum level of
environmental practice as part-and-parcel of the support regimes, but that any additional
environmental service, beyond the basic level of good agricultural practice and respecting
environmental law, should be paid for by society through the agri-environment
programmes (EC 1999b).

For the purpose of nature conservation the EU agriculture policy can be roughly divided
into two main areas:

     Rural Development and Agri-environment focus
      The promotion of direct environmental benefits is a major objective in the new CAP,
      especially in the context of rural development. This provides a number of opportunities
      for maximising the biodiversity objectives in those areas receiving CAP assistance.

     Market-based regimes
      However, the vast majority of CAP funding is still directed to market based regimes
      (direct payment to farmers) which can be very damaging for biodiversity conservation,
      unless clear environmental conditions are being attached.

Indeed, the work by WWF-EPO is focused on these two dimensions (see below). Some of
the most important initiatives under the first dimension “Rural development and agri-
environment focus” are discussed below.

The new Rural Development Regulation

The new Rural Development Regulation may offer some positive support in moving
towards more sustainable agriculture practices and overall contribution to biodiversity. Its
rural development programmes are the new pillar in the CAP (see Box 4.4). Agenda 2000
has increased the focus on rural development issues and has called for a regional
development concept tailored to specific regional circumstances and needs. It therefore
leaves the choice of measures to Member States such as the Alpine States, which can tailor

1   For more information, visit the web site:

programmes to meet environmental and sustainable development objectives for their rural

Box 4.4 The New Regulation 1257/99

Agenda 2000 introduces a comprehensive rural development policy which recognises the multifunctional nature of
agriculture and which promotes measures to support the broader rural economy. Measures have been brought together in
one regulation which aims to con-tribute to the regeneration of rural areas and the promotion of diversification. Agenda
2000 seeks to strengthen the environmental pro-visions of the CAP and to integrate them in a more systematic way into a
broader policy for rural development.

The Agenda 2000 package has streamlined rural development measures by bringing them together in one regulation.
Council Regulation 1257/99 provides a range of measures from which each Member State will draw up a rural development
plan. The programming process foresees the participation of social partners at regional and local level in the design,
implementation and follow-up of programmes.

The regulation includes the accompanying measures, (agri-environmental measures, the early retirement scheme for
farmers and afforestation schemes) which will continue to be financed wholly by the Guarantee Section of the EAGGF. This
will now also be the case for compensatory allowances in Less-Favoured Areas. Agri-environmental measures are the only
compulsory element of the programme. Member States may also make direct payments conditional on compliance with
environmental targets ("cross-compliance"). Payments may be reduced or cancelled in the case of non-compliance and
Member States may then redirect funds thus released to finance agri-environmental or rural development measures.
Source: EC 2000e

The list of eligible measures highlights biodiversity:

   Provisions to retain high nature value environments which are under threat;
   Provisions to maintain environmentally beneficial low-intensity pastures;
   Environmental capital works such as conservation measures dealing with habitat
    restoration and re-creation, and water level management investments.

The greater attention to rural development, as opposed to the focus on a single sector such
as agriculture seems particularly important for the Alpine region’s need for multi-function
solutions. Rural development plans are being finalised this year by Mss at national and/or
regional levels. WWF Austria has evaluated the Austrian proposals and has found that a
number of measures could have posed significant threats to biodiversity (e.g. road forests),
rather than benefits. This is an important reminder that policy directions, even when
reasonably defined, will not necessarily be interpreted in the most positive way for

“Potential” opportunities

The main areas of funding which can address the key problems of agriculture trends in the
Alps mentioned in Section 4.3.1 are:

   Agri-environmental measures
    These apply under rural programmes. These offer financial incentives to farmers who,
    on a voluntary and contractual basis, provide environmental services or improve
    environmental soundness of farming practices, making them compatible with
    environmental protection, the landscape and its features, natural resources, the soil and
    genetic resources. The premia paid are based on costs incurred and income forgone;
    they may also include a limited incentive element.

   Measures in Less favoured Areas (LFAs)

    These are particularly relevant to the Alps, since they have been designed to target the
    specific problems of areas such as mountain areas. They aim to assure continued
    farming and the maintenance of a viable rural community, to preserve the landscape
    and to promote the continuation of sustainable farming. The compensatory allowances
    which assist farmers in LFAs, previously based on the headage count of individual
    holdings, will be calculated on an area basis in the future. This improves the relative
    competitiveness of less intensive livestock farming. In addition, a specific provision
    foresees that payments may cover costs of complying with obligations under
    environmental legislation.

    WWF-EPO had published an influential document on the nature conservation value of
    LFAs in 1996.1 The document, entitled: “Nature of Farming” is still considered a very
    relevant source of information and guidance, particularly since LFAs are still a focus of
    attention under the new EC Rural Development Regulation.

Thus, if MSs in the Alpine region make the most of the beneficial measures allowed under
the new Regulation, rural plans could lead to sustainable management of agriculture land,
balanced rural economies and direct benefits to biodiversity. However, as shown by the
Austrian example, and by the overall history of CAP, the benefits will depend to a large
extent on the interpretation given to the rules by EU Alpine countries. This in turn will
reflect the country’s understanding of sustainable rural development. For this reason,
WWF-EPO has initiated a three year programme on this issue (see below).

4.3.3   Conclusions - Problems and Opportunities

The Problems

A study commissioned by the European Commission (DG ENV) on the integration of the
environment in mountain agriculture has highlighted the following problems:

   Small and multi-functional farms do not receive sufficient aid to compensate for natural
   Agri-environment measures may delay adverse developments and repair some
    damage, but it is highly unlikely that the production-oriented systems can be
    reoriented; and
   Other agricultural measures are not focused on environmental benefits (Euromontana
    in EEA 1999).

Agriculture has also significant impacts on the quantity and quality of water resources in
the Alpine region. The OECD organised a workshop on the “Sustainable Management of
Water in Agriculture: Issues and Policies” (Athens, 1998). The Case Studies on Italy and
Switzerland highlight the importance of the Alps in terms of water resources, and look at
the effectiveness of policy solutions to agriculture’s impacts on water quality.2

Finally, the new round of rural developments plans will need to be carefully monitored to
ensure that no damaging measures have been proposed, and to seek the maximum benefit
for a sustainable rural economy and for biodiversity.

1Copies of the document may be obtained by WWF-EPO, Brussels.
2See in particular the Swiss case study: “Switzerland: Swiss agri-environmental policy and water quality” p.203
of the OECD report from the Athens Workshop.

Some Opportunities and Priorities

According to CIPRA (see web site) the challenge ahead can be compared to a substantial
disruption of the order and habits which have been a characteristic of the Alpine areas for
generations. One of the ways forward is to switch the role of farmers from producers to
providers of a service (the maintenance of landscape characteristics). Such a change would
inevitably require major efforts on several fronts, including re-direction of funding,
training, awareness raising, greater collaboration between government administrations
with responsibility for agriculture and environmental protection, but also between farmers
and NGOs.

CIPRA suggests that a medium-term approach to mountain agriculture could be based on
two fronts:

 the provision of high quality products, and
 the protection of the landscape.

The new CAP regime can potentially contribute to this. However, much will need to be
done to monitor progress and influence plans through constructive suggestions. The main
Policy Priorities for Agriculture at WWF-EPO can contribute to this. The following areas
are likely to be relevant to agriculture in the Alps, and they are currently a priority for
action by the EPO:

       1) Promoting the benefits - focus on rural development

          Rural Development and the new EC Regulation
           EPO is working on a three-year project on “The nature of rural development”.
           This looks at institutions in ten countries (including Switzerland) with an aim to
           understand how people who currently work in rural areas actually perceive
           “rural development”

          Learning from examples
           This area of work has just started. The aim is to look at rural development in
           different regions of Europe (north, south and central). The final choice of regions
           has not been made, and EPO is looking for partners to develop the project. The
           Alpine region could be a candidate example.

          Promoting ex-ante evaluations of Rural Development Plans
           WWF Austria has developed a methodology for the evaluation of rural
           development plans. WWF-PO aims to promote this method widely during the
           funding period 2000-2006.

          Draft principles for Rural Development
           A “vision poster” should be developed in the coming years, taking into account
           the results of the various initiatives mentioned above.

       2) Avoiding the negative impacts of CAP

          Focus on cross-compliance
           A Conference on this subject is due to take place in October 2000, in Madrid. The
           Conference is being supported by DG Environment and will involve Ministries
           of Agriculture and Environment, amongst others.

               WTO issues - Agriculture and Trade
                Although a paper was produced in 1999 (“Agriculture and Trade”) there are
                currently insufficient resources to focus on this area.

The overall aim of these activities is to provide WWF with sufficient information and a
clear position on “what is sustainable rural development”, in order to influence the shape
of the next CAP. CAP’s revision is scheduled to start after 1993. A campaign is also due to
start, promoting the two broad areas and approaches presented above.1

4.3.4      Forestry

The priority areas of work of WWF-EPO in relation to forestry policy
This Section concentrates on the priority objectives for action identified by WWF-EPO at the
European level, with a focus on those which are relevant to the Alps:

 Focus on the adequate representation of forest habitats in protected areas (see Section

 Sustainable management of forests.

      This area essentially relates to the work on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which
      WWF has been supporting for many years. FSC Certification is now applied to several
      forests in the Alps (e.g. Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany).

      There is some concern about the proposal for a Pan-European Forestry Certification
      (PEFC) which focuses on the needs and objectives of the forest industry and forest
      owners, giving less importance to biodiversity and participation of stakeholders, which
      is instead the characteristic of FSC (see Box 4.5).

           Box 4.5 The Forest Stewardship Council

           FSC is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation. It is an association of Members founded by a
           diverse group of representatives from environmental and social groups, the timber trade and forestry profession,
           manufacturers and retailers, indigenous people's organisations, community forestry groups and forest product
           certification organisations from around the world. Membership is open to all who share its aims and objectives.

           It provides an umbrella organisation and structure within which qualified independent certifiers can operate
           according to clear guidelines and using agreed standards covering social, environmental and economic aspects
           of forest management drawn up by professionals in forestry as well as in ecology and in rural and social

           Once certified, timber and timber-based products originating from that forest or woodland are eligible to carry the
           FSC Trademark, thus identifying the products as coming from FSC certified forests. Only products which are so
           certified are legally authorised to carry the FSC Trademark.

           FSC therefore provides an incentive in the marketplace for good forestry practice.

 The Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe

1   For ore information, please contact Annalie Bambour at WWF-EPO, Brussels.

      The “Ministerial Conferences” is an ongoing initiative for co-operation between around
      40 European countries to address common threats and opportunities related to forests
      and forestry. This process is constituted by a chain of political level conferences and
      mechanisms for the follow-up work (see Box 4.6 for more detail). WWF-EPO has been
      involved in the development of this Ministerial Process since its early stages (visit also:

      An important aspect of this activity, which has relevance to the Alps is the attempt to
      link the activities which result from the Ministerial Process with rural development, and
      in particular, the EC Rural Development Regulation. This has been “pioneered” in
      Austria by the national WWF offices and has significant results. An analysis of the
      proposed rural development programme in the light of sustainable forestry objectives
      has shown that approximately 10% of the measures were potentially very threatening to
      conservation (these included forestry roads etc.).1

      The link between forestry and rural development was strengthened at the Third
      Ministerial Conference in Lisbon, in 1998. The first “Lisbon resolution” involves the
      further development of the human resources by intensifying the dialogue with public,
      by encouraging education and training systems for forestry workers and managers and
      also by enhancing the involvement of women in forest related activities. It gives also
      more weight to the promotion and best use of wood and non-wood products as well as
      services from forest (e.g. using forests for recreational activities), focusing especially on
      new opportunities and techniques. All this has to be considered in context with rural
      development and in co-operation with other sectors such as agriculture, tourism,
      environment, energy and industry.

Box 4.6 The Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe

The Aim

The "Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe" is an ongoing initiative for co-operation between around
40 European countries to address common threats and opportunities related to forests and forestry. This process is
constituted by a chain of political level conferences and mechanisms for the follow-up work. The signatory states and the
European Community are responsible for the national and regional implementation of the decisions taken at the
conferences. The discussion and work between the conferences is called the "Pan-European Process", which is
characterised by a dynamic joint approach with a strong political commitment.

Progress to date

The current Pan-European Process after the Lisbon Conference (1998) is aimed to develop a comprehensive work
programme considering all resolutions as well as to put into action the "Work-Programme on the Conservation and
Enhancement of Biological and Landscape Diversity". The Pan-European Process on the Protection of Forests should
guarantee the continuity of the co-operation between all participants.

So far the Pan-European Process has made a remarkable effort in assuring a sound and consistent progress in forest
management issues. Despite the countries' specific characteristics and diverse ownership patterns in Europe, the dialogue
has been intense and has revealed the broad variety of situations in the different countries by reporting of national
experiences. Therefore the Pan-European Process is an example for a cross-boundary communication throughout a whole
continent and can serve as a model of a pan-European co-operative approach.

Using the commitments as a common framework, national initiatives have been established to improve sustainable forest
management, thus an important basis for regional co-operation in Europe is provided. In addition, the Pan-European

1   Helen Zitzewitz, WWF-EPO (September 2000), personal comment.

Process has extended the field of forestry related issues and influenced forest policies in Europe and will continue to do so.
The perspective view for the European forests in the 21 century includes therefore the various social, economic,
environmental and cultural capacities of forests and will centre on the question what forestry or the forest sector and
respectively mankind can contribute to it.

The EU and Forestry

The Council Resolution of 15 December 1998 on a forestry strategy for the European Union
(1999/C 56/01) has been heavily criticised by NGOs in general and WWF-EPO. It fails to
mention biodiversity, and is perceived as a weak document since the Commission has no
financial or human resources to ensure its implementation.

For this reasons, WWF-EPO has chosen not to pursue this EC policy document and has
given priority to the other areas of work mentioned above.

Other problems related to forestry

The CAP has also supported afforestation measures leading to the creation of new forest
and the improvement of existing forests. The above mentioned study (commissioned by the
European Commission) has highlighted two main problems linked to the implementation
of forestry measures: a common disregard for the choice of trees species and the impacts on
soil, water, landscape and biodiversity (Euromontana 1998 in EEA 1999).

Another EU-funded study on forestry in the context of rural development has found that
insufficient implementation of forest legislation is another crucial problem of mountain
forest management (Koch and Rasmussen 1998 in EEA1999).

4.4 Transport

4.4.1 Introduction

Transport is a source of major problems in the Alps: noise, fragmentation of natural areas,
deterioration of recreation areas, and socio-economic effects linked to better accessibility
which can benefit lowlands, to mention but a few.

“The number of areas in the Alps above 1500 km2 not touched by major transport infrastructure
dropped from 31 to 14 between 1963 and 1993…implying the loss of characteristic species and of
species requiring large areas to survive” (EEA 1999 quoting CIPRA).

The need for better integration of transport and environment remains highly felt by local
populations as well as Governments having to deal with increasing freight transport and
the transport implications of future accession of Central and Eastern European countries to
the EU.

Ultimately, the most sustainable solution requires a reduction in transport demand, and
such a reduction is high on the agenda of NGOs active in the region.

Transport and Tourism in the Alps

“Nearly 150 million people a year are crossing the Alps, 83% by road and 17% by railway… A
rapid increase in long-distance traffic crossing the Alps is expected at a rate of 100% for freight and
50% for passenger transport within the next 20 years” (EEA 1999).

Accessibility of mountains at a high elevation is often a pre-requisite for tourism
developments. The development of road infrastructure in once-remote areas leads to
fragmentation of habitats, increased noise, air pollution (see Box 4.7) and landscape
impacts. The latter are further aggravated by secondary developments such as parking
areas, petrol and repair stations.

Box 4.7 Effect of transalpine traffic on air pollution

Abstract from the Alpeninitiative study “Effect of transalpine traffic on air pollution in Alpine valleys”, 1999

Transalpine freight traffic has more than tripled during the last 25 years and now amounts to almost 160 mio tons a year.
The part of road transport has now reached two thirds of the total of transported goods. Moreover freight transport
concentrates on a few alpine passes. Due to the high traffic levels on the road the air pollution exceeds legal limit values
over large regions. Meteorological conditions in the Alps and the fact that winds mainly blow along the valleys aggravate
the situation even further.

A comparison of the Swiss plains and the Gotthard or Brenner transit routes reveal an interesting result. It shows that the
air-borne pollution caused by one vehicle is three times higher along the Gotthard transit route than it is in the Swiss plains.
This is mainly due to the special meteorological conditions in the Alps which are characterised by the following factors:

 In periods of strong cooling by radiation such as the night or wintertime thermal inversions are formed in Alpine valleys.
  During these periods of inverted temperature profiles the whole valley bottom is characterised by high concentrations of
  pollutants (e.g. NOx and PM10).
 During summer days the Alps act as a pump for the air from Alpine valleys situated at 2000-4000 m above sea-level.
  The pollutants of the Alpine valleys are transferred into the troposphere where they cause an input of acid and
  contribute to a wide-ranging ozone pollution.

The external costs of transport in the Alps amount to SFr. 4000.- per capita and year and are thus four times higher than
the costs in other parts of Switzerland.
From an air pollution point of view the Alps therefore have to be considered a sensitive area.
Meteorological conditions not only influence the concentration of pollutants in space, the time of the emission of the
pollutants also plays a very significant role. The pollution caused by a vehicle is

1. more than two times higher in winter than it is during the summer and
2. six times higher during the night than it is during the day. From the point of view of air pollution a night-time ban for
    traffic is therefore highly recommended.

Source: (

The need to contain further infrastructure provision in the Alps

The Transport Protocol of the Alpine Convention was finally harmonised in April 2000.
The outcome of years of discussions has led to an important result for the future of
transportation in the region, which is suffering from high environmental impacts caused by
traffic and related infrastructure. Article 11 , relating to road transport, states that the
Parties will restrain themselves (in Italian: “si astengono”) from building new roads for
trans-Alpine transit purposes. Furthermore, it dictates restrictions for the building of roads
for intra-Alpine traffic, providing an important legal framework for infrastructure

Box 4.8 The Objectives of the Transport Protocol

Art. 1
1) The contracting parties are committed to implementing a sustainable transport policy whose objectives are:

a) to reduce the negative consequences and risks of Alpine and transalpine traffic to a level of sustainability for man, fauna
and flora and their habitat, by transferring a significant portion of freight to railroads, building adequate infrastructures and
creating market-based incentives;

b) to contribute to the sustainable development of the living space and the economic activities - the very basis for the
existence of the Alpine population - through an integrated transport policy agreed upon by all parties and covering all
means of transportation;

c) to decrease the impact impairing the role and the resources of the Alpine territory, as well as the conservation of its
natural and cultural landscapes - whose importance goes beyond its geographical boundaries;

d) to ensure Alpine and transalpine transport, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of transport systems and
encouraging those more environmentally friendly (the least polluting, least costly, and with the least waste of resources);

e) to ensure fair competition among the different players.

2) The contracting parties are committed to developing the transport sector according to the precautionary principle.


The clear requirement in the Protocol comes at a time when the political support for a tight
regulation of new infrastructure and a switch from road to rail for freight is somewhat
weakened (see for example Box 4.9).

Box 4.9 The example of Switzerland - a delicate balance which risks being lost

Article 36.6 of the Swiss Constitution includes two clear objectives for the protection of the Alps in the context of
transportation (Alpeninitiative 2000):

    All transalpine freight traffic through Switzerland has to be transferred from road to rail within ten years (i.e. 2004);
    The capacity of transit roads in the Swiss Alps must not be increased.

The Government has to implement this requirement through laws and specific measures. A law on transit roads (STVG)
has already been approved. However, there has been very little progress in terms of transferring traffic from road to rail
(Alpeninitiative 2000), and there is a fear that the political momentum behind the early success to reduce road transport has
now been replaced by a renewed interest to further increase road capacity (Marcus 2000).

However, the future of the Protocol is still uncertain. Italy has expressed reservations and
the next Alpine Conference of Ministers (due in Lucerne in October 2000) is likely to have a
major impact on the Protocol and on the future of the whole Convention. CIPRA hopes
that the States will sign the Protocol and proceed with ratification of this and other
Protocols which have already been signed (see Section 3).

4.4.2     Some key initiatives and opportunities for action

Transport and biodiversity - research and practical experience

Infra Eco network Europe (IENE) is a European network of experts and institutions
involved in the phenomena of habitat fragmentation caused by the development and use of
main networks of infrastructure (roads, waterways, railways). IENE promotes cooperation
and exchange of knowledge between the sectors environment and infrastructure both on
national and European levels. This objective follows the provisions of the Pan-European
Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy.

The general goal of IENE is to promote a safe and sustainable pan-European transport
infrastructure through recommending measures and planning procedures to conserve
biodiversity and reduce vehicular accidents and fauna casualties. The negative impacts
produced on biodiversity by the networks of motorways, railways and waterways are: loss
of habitats, fauna casualties, barrier effect, disturbance (noise and light) and local pollution.
IENE disseminates the results of various research results and gives practical solutions to
reduce impacts during the construction, use and maintenance of linear transportation

IENE therefore promotes research in a variety of areas of major interest for biodiversity
conservation in the Alpine region. Examples include:

   Transport’s impacts on the “connectivity” for big game species: the road network, big
    game distribution, migration routes, obstacles (settlements, railways, roads) and
    wildlife corridors. IENE Austria
   Habitat fragmentation and the impacts on biodiversity. IENE France
   Studies on roads, habitat fragmentation and wildlife. IENE Germany
   Development of a handbook on linear infrastructure and habitat fragmentation. IENE
   Switzerland’s wildlife corridors. And: modelling of the landscape dynamics and its
    habitat function for wildlife – a tool for land-use planning based on fauna needs. IENE

Details of these and other projects and activities, including contacts for the IENE members
of Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany, are provided in Annex 3.

IENE and a research programme: COST 341

The most significant initiative of IENE to date is a COST action which aims to produce

   a State of the Art on habitat fragmentation at European level, and
   a European Handbook on Defragmentation and a database.

IENE will be the forum for implementing the COST products (e.g. the practical results given
in the new European Handbook on Defragmentation), enhancing the information flow
between countries, institutions and members, pushing the COST action by giving new
countries the opportunity to enter the action via IENE, fund raising for further actions and
improving the public awareness.

COST 341 will be responsible for building up a database which will contain up-to-date
information about existing literature, on going research projects and photos. The database
will be finished in autumn 2002. At the moment 11 countries are participating. These are:
Austria, Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark, Hungary, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

The research has already produced a set of State-of-the-Art national studies for the
participating countries, which follow the same structure (for more information, visit Documents):

      an assessment of all sources of habitat fragmentation (i.e. not only transport);
      mitigation;
      compensation;
      legislation;
      an analysis of the external costs of traffic.

For example, the Swiss study has highlighted a number of dangerous trends. It identified a
concentration of fragmentation phenomena in the valley floors, and further fragmentation
caused by leisure infrastructure at higher altitudes, both with impacts for human
communities and biodiversity. The increasing traffic in the Gottardo and Brennero areas is
highlighted as a source of major concern, worsened by the recent opening up of corridors to
40 ton lorries (previously forbidden in Switzerland) through bilateral agreements.

The Swiss based organisation Pronatura has recently produced an overview of fauna
passages in Switzerland, including an analysis of what it would cost to improve passages to
ensure more effective conservation results.1

Pricing policies

“Green Paper - Towards Fair and Efficient Pricing in Transport” is the short title for a
Communication of the European Commission (COM(1995)691) which highlights the urgent
need to reflect all costs, including environmental ones, of each transport mode. The
experience of Austria, where a reduction in infrastructure charges to comply with EU
legislation was followed by a 16% increase in freight traffic in 1996 (EEA 1999), is a clear
reminder of the importance of this policy aspect for the Alpine region.

The Swiss Government funded study looking at how people travel in Switzerland was
published in August 2000 (National Research Programme, visit It
found that a high proportion of traffic is related to leisure and that this is a central problem
for transport policy makers. It predicts continued growth in traffic volume, which it says
threatens agreed targets for improving fuel efficiency and cutting carbon dioxide
emissions. The study recommends new parking taxes in areas used by tourists to cover
external costs of motoring and stronger promotion of public transport.

Pricing policy for transport remains an absolute priority for the Alps as well as other parts
of the EU. The Commission’s Green Paper was followed by a White Paper entitled “Fair
Payment for Infrastructure Use : A phased approach to a common transport infrastructure
charging framework in the EU”. This Paper was proposes more specific measures. With a
view to making more effective use of the modes of transport in the EU, to encourage a
sustainable transport system and to provide incentives for appropriate investment in trans-
European networks, the Commission is now proposing a comprehensive plan for charging
the costs incurred by infrastructure operators. It proposes the introduction of charging
systems on the 'user pays' principle.

The European Parliament (Committee on Transport and Tourism) discussed the White
Paper in its Report no. A4-0111/99. Paragraph 9 of this report points out that, taking

1   To obtain further details, please contact Pronatura on Tel. 00 421 61 317 9191.

regional circumstances and regional economic development into account, costs should be
calculated on the basis of the route followed, the level of pollution caused by the mode of
transport (i.e. in relation to its efficiency), the timing of the journey and the mode of
transport used, and that in sensitive regions higher charges should be imposed.

This point has important implications for the Alpine region. More information on progress
in this area should be sought from the Alpine Initiative (

Trans-European Networks - an opportunity to change direction

The very nature of Trans-European Networks (TENs) suggests that infrastructure is being
increased and improved to promote mobility, both within the EU and, in the future
between theEU15 and new accession countries. The position of the Alpine arch makes it
particularly vulnerable to this increase (e.g. routes such as: Rome-Milan-Zurich-Munich;
Milan-Venice-Vienna-Budapest-Kiev; Bologna-Milan-Lyon etc.).

The next few months up to December 2000 will be crucial in shaping the future of the TEN
and its relation to the environment. The Commission is currently assessing the need for a
revision of the Council Decision of 1996 which set out guidelines for the TENs. Such
revision is likely to concentrate on the following medium-term priorities (Mayet 2000),
most of which seem to be relevant to the Alps:

   Transport bottlenecks (especially cross-border connections) and the need to use EU
    funds to improve coordination between Member States;
   Freight and rail - develop a European dedicated network or at least a network which
    gives priority to freight. A priority issue for transport in the Alps;
   Connection to ports and airports for freight;
   Geographical barriers (Alps, Pyrenees and outermost regions);
   Preparing for enlargement - creating or enhancing links with the borders to accession
    countries. This could also have important implications for the Alpine region.

4.4.3   Conclusions - Problems and opportunities

Transport is a source of major problems in the Alps: noise, contribution to climate change,
fragmentation of natural areas, deterioration of recreation areas, and socio-economic effects
linked to better accessibility to mention but a few. The sensitivity of the area and the
economic, political and social importance which is often attached to the transport sector
have made it the focus of a number of policy and research initiatives.

If habitat fragmentation, disturbance in protected areas due to traffic, and the threats to
habitats and species from climate change become a focus of WWF’s Alpine Strategy, then
there are a number of areas on which it will need to focus:

Problems, opportunities and/or priorities

   Alpine Convention’s Transport Protocol
    Consider supporting the Alpine Convention’s Transport Protocol, and particularly
    Article 11 on the ban to further road construction.

   Access, tourism and disturbance
    Consider the relevance of the environmental implications of increasing demand for

    accessibility at high altitudes linked to tourist activities.

   Habitat fragmentation and transport
    Review the results of the research carried out by IENE and the COST 341 project, with
    an aim to: 1) identify solutions for fragmentation caused by transport infrastructure, 2)
    explore implications of research findings for the further development of wildlife
    corridors in the context of Natura 2000 and PEBLDS.

   Pricing for sensitive areas
    Explore the benefits and obstacles linked to the European Parliament’s call for adjusting
    transport pricing to reflect that traffic is affecting sensitive areas, thereby justifying a
    higher charge.

   Climate Change
    For Climate Change, see Section 4.5.

4.5 Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Issues
4.5.1 Introduction

Most economic activities and related sectoral policies contribute to raising the atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG), which in turn contribute to global warming. In
the Alps this could lead to significant changes in the eco-region’s seasonal climatic patters,
which in turn can influence the distribution of ecosystems and species.

More than 170 countries have ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC), including all signatories to the Alpine Convention.

Impacts in the Alpine region may be significant, and may include water stresses, upward
migration of alpine plants, increase in exotic species and extinction of alpine animal and
plant species (see the Biodiversity assessment and EEA 1999). Ultimately, changes in
temperatures and overall climatic conditions (e.g. rainfall patterns) may pose one of the
most significant challenges to conservation in the eco-region, exacerbating existing conflicts
between environmental and socio-economic concerns (Beniston 1999).

For example, studies in Switzerland suggest that the number of economically viable ski
resorts and ski lifts will decline by 67% to 44%; in Austria 3-4.5% of GNP depends on
winter tourism: about 10% of winter tourism revenues are estimated to be lost directly as a
result of a warming of 1.5 degree Celsius (EEA 1999).

The clear relevance of climate change issues for the Alpine region should be discussed
bearing in mind the fact that the driving forces and sources of GHG emissions may be
tackled almost anywhere in Europe, or indeed in the world. Depending on which sector is
targeted for action, it may be more beneficial to address it within or outside the
geographical boundaries of the Alpine region.

A very wide range of sectoral policies may contribute to address greenhouse gas emissions
leading to global warming. The effects of climate change depend on interactions between
many factors and can be worsened or eased by human intervention. Table 4.2 summarises
the main sectors responsible and the type of measures which should be considered to

reduce negative impacts. It also provides examples of some measures taken in countries
within the Alpine region ad by the EU as a whole.

The European Environment Agency (EEA 1999) has calculated that in the EU the main
contributors to CO2 emissions are, in order or magnitude: the energy sector (32%), transport
(24%) and industry (23%). In Central and Eastern Europe energy supply and industry make
a relatively larger contribution than in the EU, with transport in third position.
Nonetheless, being the fastest-growing sector in the EU (with emissions increasing to 22%
above the 1990 level in 2000), transport is likely to attract the greatest attention in the
Alpine region, since it also causes other significant impacts to nature conservation (see the
biodiversity assessment and Section 4.4).

Table 4.2 Greenhouse gases and climate change - Examples of measures and policies at
European and Member State level

Type of sector and   General measures     Examples of measures and             EU measures and policies for Climate
policy area          to address climate   policies for climate change in       Change in relation to key economic
                     change in relation   selected countries of the            sectors
                     to key economic      Alpine region
General Climate      Monitoring           ·                                    Monitoring mechanism for CO2 and
Change               mechanisms for                                            other greenhouse gases (Decision
policies/measures    greenhouse gas                                            93/389/EEC; and amendment COM(98)
                     emissions                                                 108) – to monitor progress towards the
                                                                               target of stabilisation of Community Co2
                                                                               and other greenhouse gas emissions.
                                          ·                                    Strategy paper for reducing methane
                                                                               emissions (COM(96)557) – provides and
                                                                               overview of potential measures.
                     Measures in          ·   Austria - Energy/CO2 tax         Communication towards an EU Post-
                     response to the          implemented                      Kyoto Strategy (COM(98)353) –
                     Kyoto protocol       ·                                    overview of potential measures in the
                                                                               light of Kyoto.
                                          ·                                    Council Conclusions on targets for
                                                                               Member States on GHG emission
                                                                               reductions (1998) – new burden/target
                                                                               sharing of Member States.
Energy               Measures to improve ·    Austria – promotion of CHP       Towards a strategy for the rational use
efficiency/energy    energy efficiency        and renewable energy             of energy (COM(98)246) – overview of
technologies         Power generation -  ·    France – demand side             possible measures and policies to
                     Promotion of             management                       improve efficiency.
                     combined heat and   ·    Germany – voluntary
                     power (CHP)              commitment on improved           See also Industry
                                              energy efficiency, legislation
                                              on the sale of electricity
                                              generated from renewables
                                              to the grid
                                          ·   Italy – efficiency
                                              improvement, increasing use
                                              of renewables
                     Promotion of R&D for ·                                    JOULE/THERMIE programme 1995-98
                     environmentally                                           (Decision 94/806/EEC).
                     friendly and efficient
                     energy technologies
                     and renewable

Type of sector and       General measures       Examples of measures and          EU measures and policies for Climate
policy area              to address climate     policies for climate change in    Change in relation to key economic
                         change in relation     selected countries of the         sectors
                         to key economic        Alpine region
Transport                Modal shift away       ·   France – more energy-         Trans-European Networks (Council
                         from road-based            efficient transport           Decision 1996) – may promote a modal
                         travel to more         ·   Germany – energy-efficient    shift away from road transport.
                         environmentally            transportation policy
                         friendly modes         ·   Italy – traffic control and
                                                    rationalisation of urban
                         Reduce transport       ·
                         Promote public         ·
                         Technical solutions    ·                                 Commission and European automobile
                         to reduce emissions                                      industry have reach an agreement which
                                                                                  commits industry to reduce to reduce
                                                                                  CO2 emissions from new passenger
                                                                                  cars to 140 g/km by 2008.
Industry                 Integrated Pollution   ·   Germany – voluntary           Directive 96/61/EC requires
                         Prevention and             measures, improving energy    improvement of energy efficiency in
                         Control (IPPC)             efficiency                    industrial (IPPC) installations.
                                                ·   Italy – increased use of
                                                    natural gas
                         Combined Heat and      ·                                 Directive on large Combustion Plants
                         Power (CHP)                                              (88/609/EEC) and proposal for revision
                                                                                  1998 – revision requires operators need
                                                                                  to investigate the feasibility of CHP
Waste                    Reduce emissions       ·                                 Proposal for a Directive on landfill which
                         from landfill                                            would require operators to install a
                                                                                  control system for landfill gas.
Agriculture and          Carbon sinks           ·   France – increasing carbon    Regulation 2080/92/EEC – on
forestry                                            forest sequestration          Community aid schemes for forestry
                                                                                  measures in agriculture.

Sources: adapted from the EEA 1999.

4.5.2      Research

Universities and research government bodies of countries parties to the Alpine Convention
have invested in a number of medium and long-term research projects to establish the
nature and degree of climate change impacts on the Alpine area.

A Symposium on Global Changes and Protected Areas (1999) offers a good overview of
specific research projects in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and France.1 These
include issues such as:

       Thermal variations of mountain permafrost in the Swiss Alps;
       Experiments on glacier forelands in the Central Alps, Austria;
       Impact of climate change on the water balance of forest stands,
       Microclimatic gradients controlling alpine plant distribution patterns.

1   See

For other sources see the Alpine CDS (see above, and Annex 2).

The extent of negative impacts will depend on the resilience of mountain landscapes to
buffer the expected extreme changes. Good landscape maintenance through mountain
forestry and pastoralism may contribute to contain the risk (EEA 1999).

Although a lot of the attention has been focusing around the reduction of greenhouse
emissions by key sectors such as transport and energy, some research is now focusing also
on what to do if climate change takes place despite efforts to contain it, i.e. what adaptation
strategy should be used? The Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions
(DETR) in the United Kingdom, has recently launched an innovative study looking at
adaptation strategies for key sectors, including nature conservation. The summary
document states:

        “Changes in climate will increasingly present risks to people, property and natural resources… Some form of
        carefully planned adaptation will be required. However, scientists and policy makers still do not have a full
        assessment of the implications of climate change and how it is going to affect the way we live and work. The
        challenge is to understand:
         the nature and scale of climate risks;
         where we need to take active steps or to capitalise on opportunities” (ERM 2000).

The study concluded with a list of “no regrets” actions which took a precautionary
approach. It looked at initial costs to implement the adaptation measures for key areas such
as nature conservation, which -for designated sites- included: relying on natural migration
processes, a facilitated colonisation process involving removal of barriers to natural
ecological processes, and wholesale recreation or restoration of habitats which are under
serious threat.

4.5.3   Conclusions

Climate change issues are the subject of substantial political attention, resulting in a
number of policy initiatives for different sectors. In general, the sector where countries have
obtained the least success has been transport, where the increasing demand has neutralised
all attempts to reduce its contributions to overall emissions of GHGs.

If climate change is identified as a key area for the future Alpine Strategy of WWF, the two
different approaches shown in research would also be options for WWF:

 Target a specific sector which is a major contributor to climate change (such as energy
  and transport) and define priorities and measures for reducing its GHG emissions; or

 Focus on specific habitats, species or protected areas which are considered most at risk
  from climate change and understand the nature, extent and urgency of the impacts; or

 Consider the opportunity of promoting a climate adaptation strategy (like the one in the
  UK) for the protected areas and large remaining wilderness areas in the Alpine region.

5. Identification of Needs and Possible Way Forward

5.1 Needs and Opportunities - Concluding Remarks

Many key sectoral policy areas are undergoing significant changes and are in the process of
being implemented through national and regional programmes. This is particularly true for
all EU funding mechanisms (Structural Funds and CAP related funds), and for these it is
difficult to conclude on their future performance in terms of biodiversity protection and

However, the study provides an overview of the key areas of policy making which may
either pose a threat to conservation in the Alps, or provide an opportunity for protection
and enhancement of biodiversity. WWF, including the EPO office in Brussels, is a key
player in the area of these major EU policies, and the previous sections have highlighted
the current priorities for actions identified centrally but which may also be relevant for the
Alpine region, thus offering an opportunity for synergies.

Amongst the key messages from the wide range of policies reviewed (both biodiversity and
sectoral ones) the following points are worth highlighting:

Problems and needs

 Political will and vertical collaboration, from local to international scales
  The Alpine Region has a clear international instrument focused on the regions’ natural
  and economic characteristics. Nonetheless, its effectiveness has been limited by lack of
  clear political will and collaboration. There is a need for strong local, regional, national
  and international cooperation if future strategies are to succeed in this region.

 The need for an integrated and comprehensive mountain policy
  In general, although mountains are now subject to numerous EU, national and regional
  policies, there remains a lack of coordination between measures at different levels
  relating to various sectors. Thus there is a need for holistic responses. The sparse
  population, relatively low economy, underestimated natural values, complexity and
  transnational nature of the Alpine region are a significant obstacle to an integrated and
  comprehensive mountain policy.

   EU policies often exhibit inconsistency with respect to mountain areas and do not take
   adequate account of their special requirements: “Mountains are widely recognised as
   important sensitive ecosystems, but little progress has been made in developing comprehensive
   policies, particularly at EU level, to build upon the good intentions set out in mountain charters”
   (EEA 1999).

 Multifunctionality
  Multifunctionality remains a key objective to achieve a sustainability in the Alpine
  region. This leads to a need for a comprehensive, spatially integrated policy which is
  able to reflect and support a multifunctional system (EEA 1999).

 Wide stakeholder involvement
  It is important to catalyse the interest and involvement of national governments and of
  the EU in implementation of the Alpine Convention. However, it is also clear that in the
  past, progress on biodiversity and sectoral initiatives has been hampered by lack of
  ownership at local and regional levels, and other stakeholders. A number of successful
  initiatives are now appearing. These should be analysed as good practice examples.


The way forward for the definition of an Alpine strategy will have to take into account the
biodiversity, social and economic trends, including specific problems and solutions
highlighted in the two complementary assessments commissioned by WWF to Grabherr et
al, and Bätzing (2000).

Figure 5.1 shows the interactions between driving forces, pressures, state/impact and
responses needed. This may provide a conceptual framework for pulling together the
different assessments done to date for WWF’s work in the Alps and to help develop the
future WWF Strategy for the area. The focus on pressures, state and responses is based on
the PSR indicators model of the OECD.

In terms of possible responses, the following is a list of possible alternative approaches,
which WWF could consider to take as part of its activity for the conservation of biodiversity
in the Alps. Unless otherwise stated, it is proposed that the initiatives should be taken at
international, European and national level:

General category                    Example

Measures for the integration of      Identify and promote specific measures for the integration of biodiversity and
biodiversity                          sustainability concerns in agriculture and forestry, transport, energy, tourism,
                                      and funding for regional development
Improve implementation and           of legislation
enforcement                          of reporting requirements
                                     etc.
Enhance co-operation                 “Vertically” between authorities at international and national levels
                                     “Horizontally” between authorities dealing with different sectoral policies (e.g.
                                      transport, tourism and land-use planning)
Strengthen sanctions                 For non-compliance with environment legislation in …
                                     Link sanctions to EU funding availability
                                     etc.
Awareness-raising and information    Prepare targeted information on the implications of the key sectors on
                                      biodiversity in the medium and long term, spelling out clear and realistic
                                      objectives and initiatives
                                     Promote an improvement in access to information on biodiversity trends in
                                      the whole Region

Consideration should also be given to the need and opportunity to promote greater efforts

   Training administrative staff of sectoral institutions at national and regional level to
    strengthen their understanding of the biodiversity implications of their work, and their
    ability to assess such implications in a systematic and transparent way;

   Lobbying for the provision of sufficient and adequate resources:
           Professional experts in biodiversity,
           Data and information sources on biodiversity status and trends,
                Financial resources for evaluations and monitoring.
   Sectoral statements of contribution to Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (at
    national and/or regional levels). Where such strategies are in place, sectoral
    administrations should provide a regular statement (e.g. Every two years) of the
    progress in integrating biodiversity objectives in their respective area, and the success
    and difficulties encountered in doing so.

Figure 5.1 From Pressures to Solutions - a potential framework for discussions leading to
prioritisation of elements for a WWF strategy for the Alps

                                            WWF’s CONSERVATION & BIODIVERSITY
                                              OBJECTIVES / PRIORITIES for the ALPS
                   Positive contribution to the integrity and/or restoration of wilderness areas (large natural
                                       Protection and enhancement of Protected Areas;
                                   Conservation of large carnivores and other species; etc.

            PRESSURES                                                                                    STATE

              Agriculture                                                                            Biodiversity
       Tourism and recreation                                                                    Large Natural Areas
    Transport and Climate Change                                                                   Protected Areas
    Urbanization and concentration                                                                   Landscape
               Forestry                                                                                 Water
       Energy and hydropower                                                                             Soil

                                                                                                   Natural Hazards


                                                      WWF Direct action

                                                WWF to support other NGOs
            INDIRECT/                                                                            DIRECT
       SECTORAL RESPONSES                                                                     BIODIVERSITY
                                                 WWF to influence national,
                                                 European and international
                                                Governments and institutions

                                                  STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT

                                               consumers (inhabitants and visitors )
                                “managers” (farmers, foresters, urbanists, architects, engineers etc.)
                                                       scientific community

5.2 Other areas of possible research

A number of additional areas have been highlighted during the review of policy areas in
the Alps, these included:

   The Alps role in Europe’s water flow

    Water resources of mountains cover vital functions such as the provision of high-
    quality freshwater, irrigation water for food production, the economic value of
    hydropower generation, and water supply for natural wetlands in plains. Growing
    demand for water, mainly in eastern and southern Europe is likely to affect the Alps,
    and should make the preservation of these functions a priority.1
    Consider also the implications for the Alps of the proposed Water Framework Directive
    (COM(97)49) and the impacts of human intervention in the hydrological cycles of the
    Alpine biogeographical region (damns, reservoirs).2
    Does ESDP have a role in the design of policies for the management of Alpine trans-
    national watersheds?

   Land-use planning for natural hazard prevention and soil protection

    Risk assessment and land-use planning are vital instruments in mountain areas. Issues
    which could be explored include: the debate in favour of natural solutions (e.g. natural
    vegetation) to artificial devices in the protection from natural hazards; a risk-reducing
    agriculture and forestry combination inspired by the typical multi-functional land-use
    systems of the Alps; ecological adaptation of land-use management through
    sustainability assessments of agro-forestry practices.
    Does ESDP have a role in the design of policies for Alpine trans-national risk-

   Economically-based policy approaches to conservation and sustainable use of resources

    There is an array of policy measures which are being tested and promoted with the aim
    of balancing socio-economic and environmental needs of ecologically sensitive areas.
    For example: fees for the entrance to parks and buffer zones; fees for hunting and
    fishing; fees for tour operating, for climbing peaks and for the use of roads and passes.

   EU funded Research in mountain areas

    During the period 1994-1998 the EU has invested 852 million Euros for environment
    and climate research. Several projects are directly or indirectly related to the Alpine
    region and their conclusions should be explored. These include: ECOMONT - on land-
    use impacts, ARTER – on arctic-alpine ecosystems, MOLAR - on remote mountain
    lakes, FOREST – on timberline, AASER - on the effects of climate change on alpine and
    arctic streams. The European Commission, DG Research should provide contacts for the
    project leaders, and summaries of their main results.

1 See for example: Mountain agenda (1998) Mountains of the World: Water Towers for the 21 st century. P.
Haupt. Bern
2 European Topic Centre on Inland waters (1996) Human Interventions in the Hydrological Cycle – Topic

Report 13/96. From:

5.3 Some forthcoming events:

   The signing of the European Landscape Convention in October 2000
   6th Alpine Conference in Lucerne, October 2000
   Conference on the Implementation of the Alpine Convention, organised by CIPRA
    Germany and others in Schleching (23-25 November 2000, for information Tel 00 49
    8682 8963).
   Year 2002 - declared International Year of the Mountains by the General Assembly of
    the United Nations

CAP        Common Agriculture Policy
CBD        Convention on Biological Diversity
CIPRA      The International Commission for the Protection of the Alps
CITES      Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora
           and Fauna
CLRAE      Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, Council of Europe
DG ENV     Directorate General Environment, European Commission
EC         European Commission
ECO        Eco – la rivista dell’Iniziativa per le Alpi
EEA        European Environment Agency
ESDP       European Spatial Development Perspective
EU         European Union
EU15       European Union’s Fifteen Member States
GHG        Greenhouse gases
IBAs       Important Bird Areas, a BirdLife International category
IPPC       Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
LFA        Less Favoured Areas
MSs        Member States of the European Union
NATLAN     NATure/LANd Cover Information package, EEA
PEBLDS     Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
UNECE      United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
UNFCCC     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
WWF-EPO    WWF European Policy Office, Brussels
WTO        World Tourism Organisation


Alpeninitiative (2000)
Beniston M. (1999) Impacts of Climate Change on Mountain Regions. From
Bina O., Cuff J. and Lake R. (1997) EU Cohesion and the Environment - a vision for 2000 and
        beyond. BirdLife International, Brussels.
CLRAE (2000) Recommendation 75 on the draft European outline convention on mountain regions,
        Strasbourg, 23-25 May 2000.
CoE and UNEP (2000a) Progress Reports of the 12 Action Themes of the Pan-European Biological
        and Landscape Diversity Strategy. Riga March 2000.
CoE and UNEP (2000b) Second Five-Year Action Plan 2001-2005 Draft Document. Riga March 2000.
Council of Europe - CoE (2000a) European Landscape Convention, Provisional edition for Florence,
        October 2000.
Council of Europe - CoE (2000b) European Landscape Convention - Explanatory Note, Provisional
        edition for Florence, October 2000.
Council of Europe - CoE (2000c) Recommendation 75 (2000) on the drat European outline convention
        on mountain regions. Seventh Session, Strasbourg May 2000.
EC (1998) First Report on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity by the
        European Community.
EC (1998b) Partnership for Integration: A Strategy for Integrating Environment into EU Policies,
        Cardiff, June 1998.
EC (1999a) Structural Actions 2000-2006 Commentary and Regulations
EC (1999b) Communication from the Commission: Directions towards sustainable agriculture.
        COM(1999) 22 final.
EC (2000a) Natura 2000 Newsletter. 11 April 2000.
EC (2000b) Report from the Commission on the application of Directive 79/409/EEC on the
        Conservation of Wild Birds. Update for 1993-95 (COM(2000) 180 final), Brussels.
EC (2000c) Structural Policies and European Territory - The Mountains
EC (2000d) Application guide for financial support from the EC financial instrument for the
EC (2000e) The Common Agricultural Policy - 1999 Review. DG for Agriculture
ECO (2000) Monte Bianco: nuove soluzioni invece di nuove strade. Eco no.58, May 2000 (Eco – la
        rivista dell’Iniziativa per le Alpi)
EEA (1995) The Dobris Assessment – Europe’s State of the Environment
EEA (1997) The UN Convention on Biological Diversity - Follow-up in EEA Member Countries 1996. A
        report by L. S. Anderson, C.E. Davies and D. Moss of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.
EEA (1999) The State of the Environment.
ERM (2000) Potential UK adaptation Strategies for Climate Change. A report to DETR, UK.
Grabherr G. et al. (2000) The Alps’ Biodiversity Assessment. A report for WWF, September 2000.
Hanemann B (2000) Cooperation in the European Mountains: The sustainable management of
        climbing areas in Europe. A report for IUCN.
IUCN (1994) Parks for Life: Action for Protected Areas in Europe.
Lowe P. (1992) Preface: Montagne d’Europe et Communauté Européenne. Revue de Géographie
        Alpine, LXXX(4) pp.8-19.
Marcus Maibach(2000) Personal comment.
Mayet R (2000) Discussion Paper: The Trans-European Network in the field of Transport,
        Environmental Aspects and Prospects of Development. A paper presented at the EFIEA-

        European Forum on Environmental Impact Assessment- workshop in London, September
Price M.F.(1999) Cooperation in the European Mountains 1: The Alps. Environmental Research
        Series 12. IUCN European Regional Office.
UIAA and IUCN (1998) Access and Conservation Strategies for Climbing Areas - Report of a joint
        UIAA-IUCN Seminar, Barcelona, 2-4 May 1998.

Document Sources and General Information from the Web
(@ September 2000)

See also Annex 1 - List of Useful Contacts

Document / subject area - EU                 Web page
Agenda 2000 - European Union       
Member States information on regional
development funds                            ways/gate_en.htm
INTERREG III                       
European Spatial Development       
Perspective - final document                 df/document/sdec/sum_en.pdf

Document / subject area -                    Web page
INTERREG Guidelines for 2000       
Convention on Biological Diversity 
Convention on Biological Diversity -
clearing house (all the strategies etc.)     EUR
EEA study on the Convention on     
Biological Diversity in MSs (1996)
Landscape Convention (CoE)         
Bern Convention and related material
Pan-European Biological and Landscape
Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS)
Various, incl. PEBLDS              

Document / subject area - CLIMATE            Web page
Global Changes and Protected Areas 
Symposium - Received Abstracts’99

Document / subject area - FORESTRY           Web page

December 1998 on a forestry strategy for lex/en/lif/dat/1999/en_399Y0226_01.html
the European Union (1999/C 56/01)

           Annex 1
List of Useful Contacts

           September 2000

Topic               Name            Organization                          Contacts          Web

Alps-Various        Andreas Götz    CIPRA                                 Tel. 00423 237

Alps-Various                        Euromontana                                   
Alps-Various                        UIIA (International Mountaineering            
                                    and Climbing Federation)
Alps-Various                        IUCN                                          
Climate change                      Greenpeace                                    
Transport           Peter OGGIER    Infra-Eco Network                             
Transport           Margaret        Swiss Ministry of the Environment -
                    TROCME’         BUWAL (on fragmentation effects)
Transport                           Alpeninitiative                               
Transport                           Greenpeace Switzerland                                  http://www.
Various -                           FNE (France)                                  
France                                                                                      tml
Various -           Ronan UHEL      European Environment Agency           Tel. 0045 33 36
mountain                                                                  71 30
Various EU          Christian HEY   European Environmental Bureau         Tel. 00322 289
policies                                                                  1090
Agriculture/rural   Annalie         WWF European Policy Office            Tel. 00322 7400
development         BAMBOUR                                               922
Agriculture/rural   Mike Hammel     European Commission - DG              Tel. 00322 296
development                         Environment                           1509 or 296
Natura 2000         Sandra JEN      WWF European Policy Office            Tel. 00322 743
Natura 2000         Christoph       WWF Austria                           Tel. 0043 1
                    WALDER          (produced a gap analysis report for   4881 7252
                                    all EU)
Forestry            Helen           WWF European Policy Office            Tel. 00322 743
                    ZITZEWITZ                                             8808
Forestry            LIAISON UNIT    Ministerial Conferences on the        Tel.: +43-1-
                    VIENNA          Protection of Forests in Europe       7107702
Forestry                            FERN - Brussels                       Tel. 00322 742
Landscape           Riccardo        Council of Europe - Landscape         Tel. 0033 3
Mountains           PRIORE          Convention and outline conv. on       8841 2833
                                    mountain regions                      riccardo.priore
Biodiversity        Eladio          Council of Europe - Bern              Tel. 0033 3
                    FERNANDEZ-      Convention                            8841 2259
Biodiversity        Gianluca        Council of Europe - PEBLDS            Tel. 0033 3
                    SILVESTRINI                                           8841 3559
Biodiversity        Graham          European Centre for Nature                    
                    DRUCKER         Conservation
Structural          Sandra JEN      WWF European Policy Office            Tel. 00322 743
Funds                                                                     8800

Structural     Jean-Francois   European Commission - DG   Tel. 00322 299
Funds          DREVET          Regions                    6337 or 295
INTERREG III   Mr PULSON       European Commission - DG   Tel. 00 322 299
                               Regions                    1111
Eur. Spatial   Nicola          European Commission - DG   Tel. 00 322 299
Development    DEMICHELIS      Regions                    1111

                              Annex 2
List of Potential Alpine-CDS Organisations

Provisional List of Organisations that could be covered by Alpine-CDS

ACI (Airports Council International),
AFI (Alpenforschunginstitute GmbH),
Alliance dans les Alpes,
Arge Alp,
Association Européenne des Elus de la Montagne, http://www.strasbourg-
B top of page
Bellerive Foundation,
Bureau of Transportation Statistics,
          SWIS (Swiss Wildlife Information Service)

          CSCF (Swiss Center of Cartography of the Fauna),
C top of page
CEH (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology),
          Institute of Freshwater Ecology

          IH (Institute of Hydrology)
FRIEND (Flow Regimes from International Experimental Network Data)
          Euraqua (European Network of Freshwater Organisations)
          Euraqua (European Network of Freshwater Organisations)

          CEMAGREF Montpellier
LCT (Laboratoire de Télédétection)
          CEMAGREF Grenoble (Mountain, natural risks, …)
EPM (Division Ecosystèmes et paysage montagnards)
PCE (Division Protection Contre les Erosions)
Division nivologie
AMM (Division Agriculture et Milieux Montagnards)
DTM (Division Développement des Territoires Montagnards)
PPF (Division Protection Phytosanitaire de la Forêt)
          CEMAGREF Lyon

                     FRIEND (Flow Regimes from International Experimental
                     and Network Data),
Centro di Ecologia Alpina,
CEPS (Centre for Socio-Economic Research),
CIPRA (Commission Internationale pour la Protection des Alpes),
Community of European Railways,
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève,
D top of page
Danish Polar Center,
E top of page
EAE (European Agency for Environment),
          E2RC (The European Environmental Reference Centre)

                     ETC/LC (European Topics Center on Land Cover),

          ETC/CDS Leading Organisation,

Ecologic, Centre for International and European Environmental Research
EFI (European Forest Institute),
EPE (European Partners for the Environment),
           EWA (European Water Alliance),
EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne),
           Département "Génie de l’Environnement"

           Département de Geologie

           CEAT (Communauté Environnement Aménagement du Territoire)

           EAWAG (Eidgenössische Anstalt für Wasserversorgung Abwasserreinigung und
IGW (Institute for Aquatic Sciences and Water Pollution – ETHZ)
ERCOMER (European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations),
ESA (European Space Agency),
ESF (European Science Foundation),,
Espace Mont-Blanc,
ETHZ (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich),
           Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,

                      IHW (Institute of Hydromechanics and Water Resources

                      Institute of Land Improvement and Water Management,

                      Institute of Transportation, Highway- and Railway-

                      VAW (Laboratory of Hydraulics,Hydrology and Glaciology),

           Department of Earth Sciences,

                      IMP (Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography),
Institute of Geology,
                      Institute of Geophysics,

                      Institute for Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources,
Laboratory of Crystallography,
           Department of Agriculture and Food Science
Institute for Agricultural Economics,
           Department of Geodetic Sciences,

                      Institute of Cartography,

                      IGP (Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry),
Geodesy and Geodynamics Lab,
           Department of Environmental Sciences,

                      EAWAG (Eidgenössische Anstalt für Wasserversorgung

                        Abwasserreinigung und Gewässerschutz – ETHZ),
IGW (Institute for Aquatic Sciences and Water Pollution – ETHZ)
Euraqua (European Network of Freshwater Organisations)
Institute for Geobotany - Ruebel Foundation,
Institute for Geography,
Institute of Terrestrial Ecology,
LAPETH (Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences),
                                    Climate Dynamics and Numerical
                                    Modelling Group,

            Departement of Forest and Wood Sciences,
European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research
European Commission
            DG VI «Agriculture»,

            DG XI «Environnement, sécurité nucléaire et protection civile»,

            DG XII.«Recherche»,
            DG XVI «EU-Regional Policy»,

            EWA (European Water Alliance),

            JRC (Centre commun de recherches),
EI (Institut de l'environnement) (Ispra),
                                    Coordination Unit of SOIA (System for
                                    Observation of and Information on the
                                    Alps) "The Alpine Observatory",
Réseau Alpin des Espaces Protégés,
SAI (The Space Applications Institute) (Ispra),
EGEO (Environment and Geo-Information Unit),
European Railway Research Institute
EWPCA (The European Water Pollution Control Association),
F top of page
Fédération Européenne des Communes Forestières
G top of page
Grenoble Pôle Européen Universitaire et scientifique
            University of Grenoble (Joseph Fourier)

                        Unité de Formation et de Recherche de Biologie

                                    CBA (Centre de Biologie Alpine),

                        IGA (Institut de Géographie Alpine), http://iga.ujf-

                                    Cartotheque, http://melpomene.upmf-
LAMA (Laboratoire de la Montagne Alpine)

                                  Réseau Alpin des Espaces Protégés,

                       Institut Dolomieu - Géologie Minéralogie, http://www-
BPA (Laboratoire de Biologie des Populations d’Altitude)
LEA (Laboratoire Ecosystemes Alpines),
           University of Grenoble (Pierre Mendès France)

                       CDPA (Centre de Documentation de la Phéhistoire Alpine),

                       CDTM (Centre de Droit du Tourisme et de la Montagne),
I top of page
IAWQ (International Association on Water Quality),
Icalpe (International Centre for Alpine Environments),
ICSU (International Council of Scientific Unions),
           ISSS (International Society of Soil Science),

           IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences)

           IUCr (International Union of Crystallography),

           IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics), http://www.obs-

                       IAMAS (International Association of Meteorology and
                       Atmospheric Sciences),

                       IAHS (International Association of Hydrological Sciences),

           WDC (World Data Center),
IEA (International Energy Agency),
IIASA (International Institute for Applied System Analysis),
ILO (International Labour Organisation),
Initiative des Alpes,
International Statistical Institute, Geographic Scope: Worldwide
IOPI (International Organization for Plant Information),
IRF (International Road Federation),
ISAFA, Italy,
ITE (Initiative Transports Europe),
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of the Nature),
           ECNC (European Center for Nature Conservation)

           EMF (European Mountain Forum),

           WCPA (World Commission on Protected Area)
IUFRO (International Union of Forestry Research Organizations), http://www.ruf.uni-,
J top of page
Joanneum Research Institute of Digital Image Processing
M top of page
Mountain Wilderness International
           Mountain Wilderness Suisse, Suisse,

N top of page
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration),
NIVA (Norwegian Institute for Water Research),
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration),
O top of page
          OECD Statistics,

          ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport),

OFS (Office Fédéral de la Statistique),
Office Fédéral de Topographie,
OML (Observatoire Mont Blanc Léman),
P top of page
PIK (Postdam Institute for Climate Impact)
          IGBP (The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme), http://www.pik-

PRB (Population Reference Bureau / Popnet),
CSCF (Swiss Center of Cartography of the Fauna),
S top of page
SAB (Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete),
SAC (Club alpin suisse),
SAS (Swiss Academy of Sciences),
SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation),
          EMF (European Mountain Forum)
SNF (Swiss National Science Foundation),
SSC (Swedish Space Corporation),
          MDC (Environmental Satellite Center),

                     ETC/LC (European Topics Center on Land Cover),
Swiss National Park,
U top of page
UIRR (The International Union of Combined Rail-Road Transport),
United Nations,
          UNCHS (United Nations Centre for Human Settlements),

          UN Development and Demographic Trends,

          UN/ECE United Nations Economic Commission for Europe,

                     UN/ECE Statistical Division

                     UN/ECE TIMBER COMMITTEE,

          UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme),
UNEP (Regional Office for Europe),
                                DEIA&EW – Geneva (Division of
                                Environmental Information,
                                Assessment and Early Warning)

                                           GRID (Global

                                             Database) -
GRID Arendal,
GCOS (Global Climate Observing System),
Natural Sciences Sector,
IHP (International Hydrological Programme),
                                             FRIEND (Flow
                                             Regimes from
                                             and Network
WGMS (World Glacier Monitoring Service)
Publications and Documents Unit
WHC (World Heritage Center)
GCOS (Global Climate Observing System)
           UNFAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations),
           UNICEF Statistical Profiles of Countries,

           WHO (World Health Organisation)

                      WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO),

           WMO (World Meteorological Organization),
GCOS (Global Climate Observing System),
University of Basel,
           Department of Botany,
University of Berne,
           Department of geography,
Geomorphological Processes and Natural Hazard Assessment
Group for Hydrology
Remote Sensing Research Group,
Geographie Humaine,
University of Bristol (Institute for Learning and Research Technology),
University of Colorado
           INSTAAR (Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research),
University of Edinburgh,
           Department of Geography
University of Essex
           Department of Sociology
University of Fribourg,

           Department of Geography,
Biogeography Research Team
Geomorphology and landscape Research Team
University of Geneva,
           CUEH (Centre Universitaire d’Ecologie Humaine), University of Geneva,

           Faculté des Sciences,
Section de Biologie
Departement d’anthropologie et d’ecologie
                                               d'Ecologie et de
                                               University of
Section des Sciences de la terre,
                                   Departement de geologie et
Departement de mineralogie,
Hazards and geological risks,
Institut Forel,
           Faculte sciences economiques et sociales,
Departement de geographie,
University of Innsbruck, Austria,
           Institut fur Geophysik und Meteorologie,

           Research Institute for Alpine Agriculture and Forestry, Austria,
University of Lausanne,
           Sciences Faculty,
Earth Sciences,
University of Manchester
           School of Geography
University of Michigan
           Documents Center,
University of Neuchatel,
           Faculté des Sciences,
IGUN (Institut de geologie),
                                   CHYN (Centre of Hydrogeology at the
                                   Geological Institute in Neuchâtel),

                                   GEA (geochemistry, sedimentology
                                   and mineralogy), http://www-

           CSCF (Swiss Center of Cartography of the Fauna),
University of Oxford

          School of Geography

          ECU (Environmental Change Unit),
University of Technology of Loughborough
University of Zurich,
          Sciences Faculty
Department of Zoology
Swiss Wildlife,
IFU (Institut fur Umweltwissenschaften),
Geographisches Institut,
Physical Geography (Physische Geographie),
                                             WGMS (World

                                Economic Geography

                                Remote Sensing and Natural
                                Resources (Fernerkundung),

                                Remote Sensing Applications
                                (Angewandte Fernerkundung),

                                Spatial Data Handling
USGS (United States Geological Survey),
          GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space),

W top of page
World Bank Data Archive,
World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Information Officer, World Conservation, Monitoring Centre,
WRI (World Resources Institute),
WSL (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research), Davos,
          EAWAG (Eidgenössische Anstalt für Wasserversorgung Abwasserreinigung und
          Gewässerschutz – ETHZ)
IGW (Institute for Aquatic Sciences and Water Pollution – ETHZ)
Euraqua (European Network of Freshwater Organisations)
          ENA (Institut Fédéral pour l’Etude de la Neige et des Avalanches)

          Research Department Forest,

          Landscape Research Department,

          Natural Hazards Research Department,

          CENAT (Swiss Natural Hazards Competence Centre),
WTO (World Tourism Organization ),
WWF (World Wildlife Fund),
          Living Planet,

          Climate Change,

          Forest for Life,

                               Annex 3
Infra-Eco Network: List of Current Projects

1. Austria
Habitat fragmentation due to transportation infrastructure in Austria.
Current research, problems, guidelines, and publications - a short overview.
Friedrich H. Völk, Irene Glitzner and Andreas Zedrosser, Department of Wildlife Biology and Game Management,
Universitaet für Bodenkultur Wien (Univ. of Agricultural Sciences), Peter Jordan Strasse 76/9, A - 1190 Vienna, E-mail:

1. Splitting of competence and responsibility
For governmental authorities in Austria, it is difficult to realize their general responsibility for habitat
fragmentation caused by transportation infrastructure, because competences of ministries are quite
split (different competences for streets, railways, waterways, and environment). Concerning COST
341, no joint financing could be found for preparing the national report. It is easier to succeed with
special demands in single projects (even with high money requirements) than to obtain a (small)
common budget of federal and provincial institutions.

2. Recent initiatives
Recently, the ministry for economic affairs took the initiative and is financing two studies to assess the
current situation concerning wildlife and trunk roads in Austria (e.g. KYEK 1998, VÖLK and
GLITZNER 1998; short information about large carnivores and ungulates will be presented). An
Austrian working group has developed a guideline "game protection" (Forschungsgesellschaft für das
Verkehrs- und Strassenwesen, 1997). Besides some data about fences and reflectors, it determined
basic standards for wildlife passageways (non-compulsory recommendations). Actually another
working group is developing a guideline concerning roads and protection of amphibians.

3. Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact Assessment is obligatory in Austria since 1994, but only for greater projects
(details see VÖLK 1998, report of IENE meeting Brig/CH). Information about this procedure is
available e.g. in UMWELTBUNDESAMT (Guideline 1994 and Checklist 1998).

4. Forests as "wildlife corridors"
The Austrian Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs recently defined the "Design of the road network in
the Danube-European region with special reference to Austria's role as a business location" to adapt
the Austrian road network to a Pan-European solution (BUNDESMINISTERIUM FÜR
know that the highest proportion of road planning probably will be in eastern Austria.
In this region, there are large areas without greater forests. But we have only little knowledge about
traditional and potential migration routes of big game between these forest-"islands". More and better
data about wildlife corridors are necessary. As a first step of analysis, we produced a map surrounding
the forests with a buffer zone of 500 m (see map, yellow zone). If the distances between forests are
higher than one kilometre (showing already white zones), we argue that "connectivity" for many big
game species is not very good, even if there are no additional barriers, e.g. by settlements, railways
and streets. Based on this map, we will select and analyse corridors with shortest distances between
forests to identify actual and potential game corridors. Aim of this study is to preserve and - if
necessary - to restore potential migration corridors in and through Austria.
Some reports and maps about game distribution (ungulates) and migration routes (large carnivores)
enable us to determine still existing main corridors for big game (ONDERSCHEKA et al. 1993,
RAUER/GUTLEB 1997). Andreas ZEDROSSER subsequently will give an overview about large

carnivores and Irene GLITZNER will present preliminary results about red deer. Interpretation of these
data and information allow us to localize the most important areas, where barriers due to
transportation infrastructure has to stay "permeable" (see VÖLK/GLITZNER 1998 and our poster-
presentations at this meeting). Outside of the alpine region forested migration corridors became
already rare. Especially for north-south migrations (e.g. between bavarian/czech/ Slovakian forests
and the Austrian alpine region), cover possibilities for big game when crossing the extended Austrian
farmlands is very poor (see map: white areas). And we will try to prioritise, where linkages between
forests have to be restored or improved (by afforestations, hedges, wind breaks, etc.; see map) for
ensuring also big game mobility.
One of the most delicate questions is: What will be enough permeability of barriers for larger terrestrial
game species? How many passageways are necessary between isolated game habitat islands? If
there would remain only one connection for such game between separated subpopulations (e.g. a
wide bridge situated in a forest, or at least with good cover possibilities on both sides) - is that enough,
or do we need more? Suggestions concerning these targets are very welcome!

5. Reports, publications, guidelines in Austria
ARBEITSGEMEINSCHAFT BRAUNB?R LIFE (Hrsg.), 1997: Managementplan für Braunbären in
Österreich. Wildbiologische Gesellschaft München e.V. 157 pp.
Information zur Umweltverträglichkeitserklärung. Wien.
BUNDESSTRASSENVERWALTUNG (ed.), 1999: GSD - Die Gestaltung des Strassennetzes im
Donaueuropäischen Raum unter besonderer Beachtung des Wirtschaftsstandortes Österreich. 34 pp.
CORSI, F., SINIBALDI, I., BOITANI, L., 1998: Large carnivores conservation areas in Europe: a
summary of the Final Report. Istituto Ecologia Applicata and WWF. Roma. 28pp + maps.
Richtlinie Strassenplanung RVS 3.01 - Umweltschutz, Wildschutz. 9 pp.
GLITZNER, I., GROSSAUER, F., RAMSKOGLER, K., 1998: Wildbiologische Begutachtung B 78
Obdacher Strasse Abschnitt Zeltweg - Weisskirchen. Auftrag der Steiermärkischen Landesregierung
Fachabteilung 2 a. 42 pp.
GRUBER, F., 1994: Die Veränderung von Rotwild- und Gamswildverbreitung und der
Abschusstendenzen von 1983 - 1993. Forstschutz aktuell Nr. 15 (September 1994), FBVA-Wien: 6 -
HOLZMANN, H., 1995: Leithagebirge - Donauauen - Karpathen. St. Hubertus, Heft 4: 12 - 14.
KYEK, M., 1998a: Prioritätenreihung der Amphibienwanderstrecken an Bundesstrassen,
Schnellstrassen und Autobahnen: Endbericht. Bericht im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für
wirtschaftliche Angelegenheiten: 105 pp. + Datenband.
KYEK, M., 1998b: Amphibienschutz an Strassen - Empfehlungen für den Strassenbau unter
besonderer Berücksichtigung des Neubaus von Strassen. Bericht im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums
für wirtschaftliche Angelegenheiten. 32 pp.
ONDERSCHEKA, K., REIMOSER, F., VÖLK, F., 1993: Wildäkologische Raumplanung für das Land
Salzburg und Richtlinien für das Schalenwildmanagement. Grundlagenstudie im Auftrag der
Salzburger Landesregierung. Forschungsinstitut für Wildtierkunde und ökologie der
VeterinŠrmedizinischen Universität Wien. 277 pp + annex.
PFEIFER, M., ASTE, C., 1996: Zerschnittene Lebensräume. Barrierewirkung von Autobahnen und
Schnellstrassen für Wildtiere, Leitart Rotwild. Politikum. Josef Krainer Haus Schriften 16 (70): 63 -68.
POZAREK, W., 1996: Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung in Österreich. Vorgangsweise und Methodik am
Beispiel Hochleistungsstrecke. Forschungsarbeiten aus dem Eisenbahnwesen, Band 8.
Bundesministerium für äffentliche Wirtschaft und Verkehr. Wien. 75 pp.
RAUER, G., GUTLEB, B., 1997: Der Braunbär in Österreich. Umweltbundesamt Wien. Monographien,

Band 88. Wien. 64 pp.
STEINER, E., 1995: Die Rückkehr des Elches (Alces alces L.) nach Österreich - Chronologie der
Ereignisse. Stapfia 37: 255-267.
UMWELTBUNDESAMT (ed.), 1994: UVE-Leitfaden. Eine Information zur
Umweltverträglichkeitserklärung für Projektwerber, Planer und die interessierte Öffentlichkeit.
Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Jugend und Familie. Wien. 85 pp.
UMWELTBUNDESAMT (ed.), 1998: CHECKLISTE für Umweltverträglichkeitserklärungen. Berichte Nr.
BE 127. Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Jugend und Familie. Wien. 17 pp.
VÖLK, F., 1998: Infrastructure and game: The Austrian situation. In: INFRA ECO NETWORK
EUROPE (1998): 4th IENE meeting, Brig, Switzerland (22 - 26 April 1998). Report of the meeting.
Presentations of the participants. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management,
Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, Road and Hydraulic Engineering
Division, The Netherlands: 61-63.
VÖLK, F., GLITZNER, I., 1998: Kostenreduktion bei Grünbrücken durch rationellen Einsatz. 1.
Zwischenbericht. Auftrag des Österreichischen Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche
Angelegenheiten. 31 pp.
VÖLK, F., GLITZNER, I., 1998 (in press): Assessment of barrier effects on red deer due to motorways
in Austria. First steps at assessing the permeability of 1990 km fenced motorways. In: Routes et
Faune Sauvage. 3èmes rencontres (30 septembre - 2 octobre 1998), Strasbourg. (1 p. Résumé and 3
pp. notice)
VÖLK, F., GLITZNER, I., ZEILER, H., REISS-ENZ, V., 1998: Wildwechsel trotz gezäunter
Autobahnen. Österreichs Weidwerk, Heft 1: 14 - 16.
ZEDROSSER, A., 1996: Der Wolf (Canis lupus) in Österreich. Historische Entwicklung und
Zukunftsaussichten. Forschungsinstitut WWF Österreich. Studie 25. Wien. 38 pp.

2. France
INPUT FROM THE 3rd MEETING «ROADS AND WILDLIFE, 30 Sept to 2 Oct 1998 - Council of
Europe - Strasbourg - France
Jean Carsignol - CETE de l'Est, 1, Boulevard Solidarité, BP 5230, F-5707 Metz cedex 03 France
Virginie Bernardon-Billon - SETRA, F-46, Avenue Aristide Briand, BP 100, 92223 Bagneux Cedex France

The erosion of biodiversity, due mainly too human activities, has given rise to a mobilization of
scientific research, because the habitat fragmentation process is considered as a possible cause of
the extinction crisis looming ahead.
Habitat fragmentation results in:
         - a reduction in areas available for use by organisms,

         - an increase in the distances between their habitats,

         - the disappearance of landscape elements conducive to dispersion (corridors),

         - the existence of barriers such as roads and canals.
Fragmentation results in a cascade of impacts on local populations: loss of specific biodiversity,
population deficit, extinction risk in the absence of rescue effects normally generated by migratory
Conservation biology seeks to study these phenomena and the implementation of restoration,
management and rehabilitation strategies.
There are several spatially-dispersed population systems:
         - populations similar in size with the same extinction probabilities (Levins 1969),

         - a source population sustaining satellite populations liable to extinction (Boorman
         and Levitt's "core-satellite" model, 1973,

         - the archipelago model between sub-populations of the same size,

         - metapopulations in desequilibrium through a lack of colonization,

         - hybrid systems associating several of the previous models,

         - source/sink systems.
These systems do not have the same biological meaning. A better knowledge of the way they work
will provide an answer to some basic questions:
         - What is the minimum area required for a metapopulation persisting?

         - What are the effects necessary for the survival of a metapopulation (MVP concept -
         Minimum Viable Population)?

         - What are the effects necessary to maintain genetic variability?

         - What species - grouped into metapopulations - offer the greatest resistance (or
         susceptibility) to different degrees of fragmentation?

         - For the same surface area, is a single large habitat better than several small
         habitats (SLOSS problematics - Single Large Or Several Small)?

Models are being introduced, which will soon enable the future of species and communities to be
predicted with reference to different space pattern scenarios (c.f. G. Pain) and there is no lack of
practical space redevelopment solutions (G. Désiré and Ph. Clergeau on corridors, C. Cibien on
barriers, G. Pain on landscape ecology, C. Verheyden on biodiversity and the ecological functioning of
green motorway ancillaries).
Debate on SLOSS and MVP, the construction of a sound theory on metapopulations and debate on
sustainable development must not be a pretext for inaction (precautionary principle).
It is now an accepted fact that a study of the functioning of ecological systems integrates two basic
parameters: habitat heterogeneity and temporal dynamics (space-time). Thus over the past ten years,
the concept of landscape ecology has gradually become an essential consideration in the study on
management, conservation and restoration of spaces and species.
At the landscape level, corridors, their characteristics (width, spatial connections) and biological
processes (barrier effects, source habitat, sink, etc.) are more interesting than concepts of status or
heritage value. These parameters are increasingly being successfully studied in impact studies and
are assuming as much importance as habitat density or quality.
In road projects, this discipline justifies development choices or guides protection measures in cases
where the lack of an emblematic species shows the limits of the conventional heritage approach. This
promising new approach is being successfully used on projects such as the A84 "Estuaries"
motorway, the A4 ecological restoration of the Saverne Pass, the RN 83 Colmar-Sélestat link. It
implies the use of an overall planning logic over the longer term (sustainable development) and forms
a natural part of the entire road project consultation procedure, which is consistent with the principles
of continuity and progressivity.
In these analysis systems, the viability of animal populations depends on the extent of the favourable
habitats and their spatial and temporal organization, without losing sight of the fact that the home
range of an individual includes functional areas of different types:
- feeding grounds (ungulate food patches, hunting grounds)
- breeding grounds
- growing areas (ponds for amphibians)
- wintering grounds
Movements (seasonal or daily migrations) enable zoological groups to reach favourable functional
areas but these groups do not all necessarily use the same movement strategies. Amphibians migrate
in order to:
- look for wintering sites
- look for breeding sites
- migrate towards growing habitats
- colonize new sites
Amphibians usually group themselves into metapopulations and form small clusters of breeding stock
dispersed in expanses of water. The small numbers are offset by immigration movements (which
support a momentary population depression) or dispersion-habitat recolonization movements. This
system may be disturbed by infrastructure-generated fragmentation as regards the biological cycle
(need to maintain habitats that are favourable in terms of quality and surface area) and the way it
works (need to maintain migration and dispersion possibilities). The infrastructure may prevent
movement (barrier) and act as a population sink for species in movement when a heavily trafficked
road results in high mortality.
Research has shown that movements of tailed amphibians are guided both by the magnetic field and
by chemical stimulants (olfactory guidance). This orientation system requires a straight pathway and
shows that connexity can only be ensured or restored by a corridor of hedges or ditches, as is the
case with mammals or insects. In order to develop remedial measures for the imposed disruption in
connexity between habitats, the ethological characteristics of amphibians must be taken into account.
The consequences of their orientation methods require the following measures:

- The most efficient connection between the pond and the terrestrial habitat must be the shortest
straight path
- Large toad tunnels are inefficient (too long)
- To enable them to get their bearings by olfactory stimulation, large diameters or cross-sections must
be the objective.
The special ethology of batrachians challenges the universal character of the corridor and works in
favour of other connexity models such as the permeable habitat sector.
The fragmentation of populations may also have a genetic impact. Reductions in numbers of a
population cause a reduction in the diversity of its constituent genotypes. When the new populations
derive from a small number of individuals, genetic diversity is very limited. Populations lose local
adaptive traits and may even have to overcome a general deficiency in the quality of individuals. The
recent development of genome analysis methods opens up new prospects in this field of investigation,
particularly with the work of Hartl who indicates that in the Vosges, there is a genetic differentiation of
the distinct population of deer separated by the A4 motorway. Genomic recombinations due to the
practice of selective screening are exacerbated here by the motorway barrier. The consequences of
habitat fragmentation are complex and may have contradictory effects on the genetic structure of
populations. For instance, the metapopulation system is conducive to genetic variability and
guarantees polymorphism. But conversely, if the introduction of a genotype formed by a specific
selection system is dispersed in a different environment, it may result in local maladjustment.

Measures in favour of wildlife - a practical assessment
In France, the procedures of March 1996 are the result of 20 years' experience of road project impact
studies (enriched with input from European directives and ecological observatories). State
commitments are a mark of the will to carry through the measures contemplated in the impact studies.
The monitoring and assessment procedure should improve know-how (experience feedback). But the
result as regards wildlife is ill-defined and the environmental studies are slow and lack ambition and
precision. Avoidance strategies are not priority considerations in cost-benefit analyses. Fragmentation
effects do not take into account induced effects (destruction during land consolidation). Reduction
measures mainly target ungulates with a high sociological value (hunting) but whose populations are
not threatened. Second is the group of amphibians and there is also a recent tendency for ad hoc (but
not generalized) measures in favour of some groups (bats) or species (hedgehogs, tortoises, owls,
otters). Some changes are becoming apparent but logic requires development input to be primarily
targeted at abundant populations whereas it is precisely the poorly represented metapopulations that
are most at risk of extinction. In this logic, considerable efforts are being made in favour of large
wildlife (census updating of passages in 1990) with facilities of unequal value but some interesting
achievements (c.f. further ahead).
The Ministry of the Environment, by implementing service schemes, the Act on land use planning and
sustainable development and the Natura 2000 network, is seeking to modify excessively sectoral
approaches by giving priority to more general debate in which the territory and natural spaces are
assets for economic development.
Through the collective service scheme for natural and rural spaces, the State is defining its guidelines
and adjusting its own policies based on principles laid down by the scientific community:
- principle of ecological continuity
- principle of conservation of major geographic units free from perturbations (having an economic
value for health, recreation, etc.)
- principle of multifunctionality of spaces and territories
- precautionary principle providing economic management of space
- principle of sustainable development which imposes a long term vision and monitoring instruments
(trend indicators).
The Natura 2000 networks (European initiative) integrate these same factors of habitat continuity and

population exchanges. Recent trends are gaining ground. Their success will depend on many
parameters: a social and political will to solve problems, know-how, motivation of the people in charge
of implementing them. In this field, France is lagging behind compared with Dutch or Swiss practices
developed during the seminar.

Role of green motorway ancillaries.
For a long time, steps have been taken at intervals to improve the ecological value of ancillaries. ASF *
and CNRS** have made a three-year ecological appraisal of the functioning of ancillaries by comparing
them with the transited landscapes on three sites belonging to three different biogeographic fields.
The study concerns invertebrates and land vertebrates (reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals).
The main results are as follows:
- Diversity is greater in green ancillaries than in the transited environments (for the same surface area,
there are more animal species in the green ancillaries than elsewhere except for birds),
- populations in the two compartments are never the same: 68% of the species are found in both
- seasonal variations in abundance are generally synchronous in the two compartments but rarely
have the same amplitude (the rights-of-way are more stable),
- there are exchanges between the different compartments.
This original research is to be paralleled with studies conducted by the National Hunting Agency on
free movement areas of deer throughout the country. 1005 free movement areas have been recorded.
The identified tracks show that country-wide, 6% of the tracks can no longer be used by the deer.
Deer movements are threatened in 185 areas (1/8th of the areas concerned). Over the short term,
exchanges will be difficult in 27 further areas (mostly because of motorways).
This national approach to fragmentation - on this scale - is a first (with the study of calm areas). It
should lead to concrete proposals for conservation measures and the restoration of deer movement
areas, and then it will be extended to other species (landscape defragmentation programme).

The sociologists' view
The status of the wild animal is worthy of mention. The same animal can be considered harmful and
then be classified as a "protected species" (temporal variability of legal status). The status of the wild
animal may also vary according to the society (deer are wild game in France, reindeer are animals
domesticated by the Lapps). And what about the "wildness" of the animals that are to be "guided"
towards the specific, reserved passages, along an appropriate route, lured by feeding and "attractive
plant" arrangements, and sometimes unknowingly filmed. A sociologist will wonder whether we are
forming a "new wild animal" generated by a long technical development. From the ethological angle,
does an animal that has learned to use the passage stay the same? Doesn't the passage change the
very nature of the animal, which becomes the product of incentive teaching (and what can be said of a
deer that balks at using the passage?).
Human sciences are examining the change in nature of the wild animal, the possibility of manipulating
its behaviour....

Specific facilities

Axial highways disturb the territories of bats, whether for returning to their summering or wintering
areas or for moving nearer a hunting ground. The most tangible dangers are the segmentation of
territories, mortality, disturbance (jobsite, maintenance of works hosting bat roosting sites).
Collisions chiefly occur in September and October. The Cher Département (county) has 16 species of
bats, 11 of which are concerned by road mortalities but in varying degrees accounting for 15% of the
total county-wide road toll.
Compared with other species, not many steps have been taken to provide amenities for bats and

those that have, are too recent to assess their efficiency. However the following measures are
- avoid fragmenting plant corridors (hedges); restore some or all of them (bats rely on plant structures
to travel),
- make green ancillaries less attractive to insects (bats are strictly insectivorous),
- avoid lighting, give preference to sodium lamps and position them as high as possible. Bats use
waterways as transit routes and hunting grounds. Encourage them to pass under bridges rather than
over them (risk of collisions with vehicles) by cutting back riverine vegetation,
- bats will readily use underpasses to cross motorways or green bridges (tree-covered overpasses),
     I.        high plant structures right at the roadside induce bats to climb high enough to avoid

Terrapins and tortoises do not escape fragmentation effects and collisions (particularly when they
are looking for laying or dispersion grounds).
Various solutions are proposed in USA and Australia to reduce mortality and restore crossings. The
sole French experience (A57) concerns the Hermann's tortoise and consists in the following
- install a buried fine-mesh fence
- capture and move the tortoises found within the right-of-way (some 300), mark them and put them
back into their natural surroundings
- install two "tortoise tunnels" to reconnect the territory segments.
All in all, few animals are run over (efficiency of the fencing) but few animals use the tunnels. Access
to the passages is very difficult and too long for their small cross-section, with the result that tortoises
will only use a covered underpass that reconnects a public way.

The otter often travels long distances along waterways. The home range of an adult may be several
tens of kilometres long; the young wander far and wide and take a long time to find a free territory; the
recolonizing movements begun in several regions of France are causing otters to colonize new
sectors, thereby incurring mortality risks when the animals have to leave the run of the river to cross
the road.
New steps are being taken to restore the free movement of otters (the Atlantic seaboard, the Massif
Central). Whatever their design, facilities for otters are regularly used to preserve the animals from
risks and extend their distribution areas. Such facilities are relatively cheap but need to be well-
adapted to the habits of the species.

Amphibians. To curb the death rate of frogs, the Départment 68 (Haut Rhin) has been pursuing two
complementary lines of action since 1970:
- setting up temporary protective nets on 18 sites
- building toad tunnels - this département was the first to install this type of structure in 1983 in a
difficult mountain area. Today there are three such structures in the département and the scheme is
well advanced, making the Haut Rhin the best equipped département.
At regular points (3 sections) some roads are temporarily closed to traffic.
All these measures saved the lives of 48,000 individuals in 1998. This success is the result of
volunteer work. These operations to protect amphibians are helping to raise public awareness of the
need to respect natural wetlands.

3. Germany
Habitat fragmentation and roads in Germany- current situation and perspectives
Bertram Georgii, Munic Wildlife Society, Linderhof 2, D-82488 Ettal
From an ecological point of view there are two very different aspects of traffic routes (roads, railway
lines, waterways):
      They may have important functions as habitats and corridors, which allow animals to invade
          areas formerly not inhabited by such species (that's the potential positive effect).
      On the other hand, roads (more than railway lines) may be severe barriers, which are
          insurmountable for a lot of species, or they demand high road kill rates (that are the negative
This review focuses on the second kind of impacts especially the degree of habitat fragmentation by
traffic routes in Germany, the future road planning and recent research on how to mitigate the

The German transport infrastructure network
The current net of traffic routes of the Federal Republic of Germany comprises some 226.810 km of
roads, 40.800 km of railway lines and 7.339 km of waterways (data from 1997, 1995 and 1997
In the case of the roads, this corresponds to 173.890 km in the western and 52.670 km in the eastern
federal states (Fig.1 left section). In relation to the size of the different federal states this means 0,70
km and 0,49 km roads per square kilometre in the western and the eastern part of Germany
respectively (Fig.1 right section). As may be seen from the figure especially in Mecklenburg-
Vorpommern, Sachsen-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Thüringen - these are all states of the former
German Democratic Republic - the road density is rather low.
Taking into account the fact that the area over which significant ecological impacts (noise, pollution,
human disturbances etc.) extend outward from a road covers at least a 300 m wide band on both
sides of roads (Reck & Kaule 1992) an estimated 38 % (some 136.000 km 2) of the German land area
is directly affected by roads.

The "Undissected Areas" approach
Looking at these statistics the degree of habitat fragmentation is expected to differ between the
western and the eastern part of Germany too. To show this, since 1979 some twenty large-scale
analyses had been carried out to evaluate the number of so-called undissected low traffic areas
(unzerschnittene verkehrsarme Räume, UZV; e.g. Lassen 1990, Grau 1998). Most of them concerned
individual federal states of Western Germany only. And all of these investigations have used indirect
methods of measuring the degree of fragmentation (e.g. inquiries, literature surveys). The problem is
that they differ in the basic data and in the assessment scales by which they evaluate the intensity of
fragmentation impact or the extension of unfragmented areas. Thus the results often are not
After the reunion of Western and Eastern Germany, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
(Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) attempted anew to evaluate all "Undissected low traffic areas > 100
km2" (UZV-Räume > 100 km2) using rather simple but uniform criteria for the whole of Germany. The
basic aspects they regarded to have a dissecting impact were as follows:
      all roads with more than 1000 motor vehicles per 24 hours;
      all railways (single- as well as double-track ones) and
      all waters which claim more than half of an otherwise undissected area >100 km 2.
The result is shown in Fig.2. When considering railway lines, as well as all asphalted roads and
motorways there is a sum total of 343 unfragmented areas > 100 km2. Most of these areas lie in four

federal states namely Bayern, Niedersachsen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg (Fig.2 left
section). When relating the number of the large unfragmented patches to the total area of each federal
state, those of the former German Democratic Republic show a mean density of undissected areas
more than double as high as that of the western federal states (Fig.1. right section). The most
outstanding states in this sense are Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The results are
already present in a GIS-based but not yet published map. With this map the Federal Agency for
Nature Conservation tried to develop a topical database for a sustainable protection of bio-diversity
and landscape in all kinds of future road or railway planning in Germany.

The Federal Traffic Infrastructure Plan
In 1992 the Federal Ministry of Transport came up with the so-called Federal Traffic Infrastructure
Plan (Bundesverkehrswegeplan, BVWP; see also Federal Ministry of Transport 1998). It shows the
demand for motor- and highways, railway lines and waterways from an economic perspective,
covering a planning period of two decades. Main objectives were the completion of the existing traffic
routes and a better connection between the "old" and "new" states of Germany following its unification
("German Unity Transport Projects"). But also the opening of the borders to the East and the
ambitions of the "trans-European transport network" (TEN) are important aspects for the extension of
the traffic infrastructure.
Especially in the case of the states of the former German Democratic Republic this implies lots of new
roads. Therefore it is to be feared that just those parts of Germany where the largest unfragmented
areas concentrate as for example in Brandenburg or Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will become dissected
in unforeseeable dimensions when this plan is realised. In the case of the roads alone, some 2.200
km of new motorways and 5.200 km of new highways with some 1.000 and 1.500 km respectively in
the eastern part of the republic, are planned.
Although the Federal Traffic Infrastructure Plan points out that the planned road, rail and waterway
projects have to be ecologically compatible, it's to be supposed that the economic objectives are the
more important ones (Bundesminister für Verkehr 1993). So the ecological risk analysis is only a
cursory and qualitatively descriptive assessment on a large-scale basis, and is limited to new road
projects with a length of more than 10 km (Hoppenstedt & Preising 1993, Gühnemann et al. 1998).
Nevertheless the ecological assessment must show that the prospected traffic routes will provide an
ecologically acceptable and relatively conflict free alignment, where any remaining inconvenience may
possibly be compensated. Otherwise the specific conditions for the further planning have to be
altered, the extent of a project or its priority will be downgraded or - rarely - the project even will be

Studies on roads, habitat fragmentation and wildlife
In the last decade three noteworthy studies have been carried out in Germany concerning the impacts
of habitat fragmentation or roads on wild animals and the possibilities to minimize them.
In 1994 the Federal Ministry for Education and Research started a multi-approach investigation about
the importance of unfragmented habitats with low human disturbances for a variety of species
especially those which need large areas (Landesamt für Umwelt und Natur Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
(1996). Species studied were otter (Lutra lutra), badger (Meles meles), crane (Grus grus), white-tailed
eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina), marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
and even the river-lamprey (Lampetra planeri). To evaluate the impacts of habitat fragmentation
essential aspects of the studies were habitat evaluation analyses, home range and activity patterns,
habitat and food selection, dispersal, the impacts of human disturbances especially those deriving
from roads, traffic density and animal road kills or the importance of dissectional effects on population
The studies were carried out mainly in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the isle of Rügen but they are
still not fully analysed and therefore not yet published. For the otter for instance the results show that

he is less limited by patch size than by the traffic on roads and especially roads with high traffic during
dusk, night and dawn. On the other hand, the findings for the white-tailed eagle show an obvious
concentration of nest sites in unfragmented and little disturbed landscape patches.
The second study dealt with the minimisation of the separating effects of roads by river crossings or
bridge openings (Kneitz & Oerter 1997). It was initiated by the Ministry of Transport in Bonn. The basic
idea was that intersections of roads with rivers might be potential underpasses for wildlife because
streams and their adjacent vegetation structures act as guiding lines and migrational corridors for
many animals. During two years Kneitz and his co-workers studied a wide variety of animal species
such as ground beetles, grasshoppers, dragonflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, mayflies, the
macrozoobenthos as well as small mammals, game and birds at a total of 20 river crossings.
In all of the invertebrate groups species were found which used the underpasses, especially those
with natural riverbeds and banks. But they also showed reduced numbers of species and individuals
compared with the surroundings. This was due to the specific micro-climatic conditions, the non-local
substrate, the lack of vegetation and the different vegetation structure, or even artificial embankments
beneath the crossings and bridges. Furthermore, the macrozoobenthic species react above all on
reduced light conditions. Most small mammals used the underpasses as habitat corridors with a
species-specific intensity. The same is true for the larger game species with the exception of narrow
"box-passages". In the case of birds, behavioural changes influenced by the bridge structures, such
as direction reversal or alteration of flight paths, were observed.
The third study was a six year investigation of the bio-ecological effectiveness of wildlife overpasses or
"green bridges" over roads and railway lines (Pfister et al. 1997; see also the contribution of V.Keller at
this meeting). It was initiated by the Ministry of Transport in Bonn and the ministries of Transport, of
the Environment and of Rural areas, Nutrition, Agriculture and Forests of Baden-Württemberg. The
investigations were conducted by the Swiss Ornithological Institute which commissioned some further
specialists to study individual groups of animals as, for example, large mammals, mice, dormice,
amphibians, ground beetles, grasshoppers and even birds. The investigation comprised some just
built green bridges over the new highway B31 near Lake Constance, and a comparative investigation
of 12 overpasses in Germany, Holland, France and Switzerland.
At the centre of the investigations was the question as to which species of animals use green bridges,
and how often. Thus with a few exceptions, the species studied used at least the wider green bridges.
Small mammals and invertebrates can use overpasses effectively when species-specific habitat
elements are present on the bridges, and these elements are joined to the corresponding habitats
outside the road area, that is to say when the green bridges are formed as habitat corridors. Because
wet habitats are difficult to establish on overpasses green bridges are hardly used by species having
an affinity for water like e.g. amphibians.
Otherwise, for large mammals, the width and location of a green bridge appears to be more critical
than its design or the substrate and vegetation. Green bridges less than 20 m in width were used not
as frequently as wide structures. In particular, ungulates and the European hare reacted very
sensitively to narrow bridges. Additionally, red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus),
wild boar (Sus scrofa), European hare (Lepus europaeus), badger (Meles meles) as well as red fox
(Vulpes vulpes) used the green bridges as feeding areas too.
Summarising the results of the Kneitz and Pfister studies, the fragmentation effects of roads and
railway lines may be minimised by the described underpasses and green bridges. Therefore,
perforating roads and railway lines to diminish the barrier effects makes good ecological sense. The
precondition is that under- and overpasses are optimally positioned, dimensioned and designed, in
other words, they have to correspond to the natural environment as much as possible.
The target species of such buildings can essentially be all species, which are significantly affected by
the barrier effect of the respective road or railway line. Among these both, species which are
particularly threatened in the local situation or species which have important migration routes there
have priority when planning a passage. Moreover the buildings should be part of a general

"permeability concept", i.e. a concept the aim of which is to connect habitats not only on a regional but
also on a large-scale level.

4. Italy
Link to the web site of IENE in Italy

On-going activities of I.E.N.E. Italy
Prof. S. Malcevschi - EIA Commission Ministry f Environment. Dott.ssa M. Belvisi - ANPA. Dott.ssa S.
Ceppi - University of Pavia
During last year I.E.N.E. Italy has carried out several activities mainly focused on:
     Construction on data-base and evaluation of first results
     Realisation of an Handbook about "linear infrastructures and habitat fragmentation"
     Initiatives on ecological network
     Dissemination of information about IENE initiative through a page on a scientific review (the
         last four issues) "ACER (specialised review on natural rehabilitation
     Construction of Web site IENE dedicated.

Construction of data-base
Italy is collecting all the available data about the habitat fragmentation in order to produce a database
that will contain useful information and referees on this matter. Until now we are handing out
questionnaires in all the meetings and the conferences connected with this that have given in this
fieldwork, and we are processing all the data. In the following a summary of this results are presented.
During this first step of the enquiry following results came out: 61% of operators are involved in the
public sector and 43% work in the private sector (see. Fig. 1)
Most of operators used to work on locals and regional projects, less on European projects. The
National level, which includes for example highways and high-speed railways, involved 20 % of the
peoples (see Fig. 2).
Fields of principals interests (see Fig. 3) more relevant for all operators are:
     filter ecosystems along infrastructure
     hedges along filter ecosystem
     hedges and row of plants
     viaducts and ecoducts for fauna
Study and research and project managing, together, are principal field of activities.
Less interest is dedicated to implementing programmes and project realisation.
We can outlines
    - Habitat fragmentation study in the latium area and in the Mediterranean area for amphibian
    and reptiles " (Marco Bologna, Università degli studi "Roma Tre");
         Planning of interventions of restoration of landscape for a new high speed railway Milano-
          Bologna and planning of environmental and acoustic mitigation measures for linear
          infrastructure (Barbara Vizzini, Aquater spa);
      Report of European community project Ecos Ouverture on the "Cintura verde metropolitana"
          (Battisti Corrado, Provincia di Roma)
      Ministry of Industry and tourism project –"Tourism valorisation project of Po river ( province of
          Lodi"(Giovanna Fontana, Landscape Studio Association)
Principal reports produced consider planning formulation (32%) thematic maps (21%) or divulgations
articles (see fig. 4)
About on-going production (see fig. 5) we can find handbook and guidelines (16%) and scientific
publication, planning formulation (38%) %) e thematic maps (19%).

Handbook about "linear infrastructures and habitat fragmentation"
I.E.N.E. Italy, in co-operation with the Italian Environmental Ministry – Environmental Impact
Assessment Service (Ministero dell’Ambiente – Servizio Valutazione di Impatto Ambientale) is
realising a handbook about "Infrastructures and habitat fragmentation".
The steering committee is working in order to involve experts in this fieldwork, NGO’s, and to collect
the most interesting experiences in big and small areas with the co-operation of local administrators.
This handbook will be available before the end of 1999, and will be spread to all the organisations,
public administration and private subjects involved in the habitat fragmentation. It will be a handbook
useful for planners and for technicians that will meet the problem of the realisation of infrastructures
with the need of the fauna movements.
The handbook will contains the following topics:
1.1 Species, habitat, environmental components
1.2 Habitat, ecosystem, landscape, territory
1.3 Habitat fragmentation
1.4 Habitat fragmentation and human population
2.1 Linear infrastructures
2.2 The impacts of linear infrastructures on ecological continuity
2.3 Traditional kinds of fauna passages
              The hoofed mammals
              Other mammals
3.2 The birds
3.3 The reptiles
3.4 The amphibians
3.5 The fishes and the water ecosystem
3.6 Terrestrial Invertebrates
3.7 The plants
4.1 The Ecological networks
4.2 Targets of land use
4.3 Ecological networks and infrastructural networks
4.4 Technical integrated solutions
5.1 The management of ecological permeability
5.2 The costs
5.3 The monitoring
Enclosures: Case of study

ANPA initiatives on ecological networks
Programme presented on Brig meeting last year was structured into lines of activity founded
essentially on the involvement of local organisation like Environmental Agencies in order to observe
eleven study cases, located all around the national territory. Results deriving from these studies
started in the 1998, represent a starting point for definition of methodological proposal actually
Four programmes are scheduled for next two years:
First, starting at present, provides for a joined study among ANPA, regional and provincial

environmental Agencies and other subjects for planning methodologies of monitoring of the ecological
networks. The second, to start in this year intends to carry out a study of feasibility whose aim is to
constitute a prototype of informative system specifically conceived as a support of the planning
choices which consider the safeguard of ecosystem and landscape values. The third, planned for a
next year, has as its purpose to achieve a first definition of protocols for the interventions of
renaturation and restoration of natural structures and landscape. The last programme will be the
conclusive transposition into guidelines of the whole work carried out during the execution of the plan.
The purpose is to create a first official reference for improving ecologically the instrument of territory's

5. Switzerland
On-going projects in Switzerland
Peter Oggier, University of Bern, Zoological Institute, Baltzerstrasse 3, CH-3012 Bern, E-mail:

1."Modeling of the landscape dynamics and its habitat function for wildlife. A tool for land-use
planning based on fauna needs. Case study : the European hare (Lepus europaeus) in
Responsible: Corinne Gilliéron. Beginning: November 1998
Thesis research project at the Laboratory of Ecosystem Management (GECOS) of the Swiss Institute
of Technology - Lausanne (EPFL), in collaboration with the Swiss Ornithological Institute of Sempach.
We will develop a model that simulates the spatio-temporal changes of the habitat function of the
agricultural landscape on the swiss Plateau for the European hare (Lepus europaeus). The goal of this
research project is to propose a decision aid tool for landscape management, which allows to evaluate
the effects of human intervention on this ecosystem, like new transportation infrastructure, urban
development, social development, rural land improvement projects, changes in agricultural policies or
practices. Why the European hare? First because the hare's population has dramatically decreased in
Europe and second because it is a good indicator of the quality of an agricultural landscape.
The research will be accomplished in three steps:
     Analysis of the habitat function of the landscape for the European hare on three experimental
         sites on the swiss Plateau. The landscape will be described as the hare would see it. This will
         be done on basis of aerial black and white photographs and with help of field verifications and
     Development of a model that simulates the dynamics of this landscape. Temporal series of
         photographs from 1950 to now will be described and analysed as in the first step and also
         with help of topographic maps. The results of these analyses, stored on a GIS, will be used as
         base for the development of the model. It is foreseen to use an already existing model of
         landscape dynamics based on the Cellular Automata techniques (CA). As they were
         developed in other conditions, for other landscapes, scales and time periods, they will need to
         be adapted. We are now testing three of them which were developed in France, Canada and
         the USA. What is a Cellular Automata? A CA is a discrete system (in time, space and state),
         using simple evolution rules to reproduce complex behaviour. In practice, a regular grid is
         overlaid on the landscape and each cell changes its state at each time step, following
         transition rules that include human driving forces, natural evolution and neighbourhood
     Development of a decision aid tool for landscape management. The predictive aspect of the
         model will be developed by applying the model to practical cases and different management
         scenarios. The last step will be to offer a user friendly interface.

2. A concept that takes the whole fauna into consideration at the time of the planning and the
exploitation of transportation networks.
S. Schneider, Groupe d'étude Faune-Trafic, (LAVOC-ECONAT-ECOTEC-INSECTA-S. Müller)
The transport network will constitute soon a coherent and complete whole. Displacements of fauna
take place in corridors also forming a network that enters in conflict in many places with the first one.
The technical means, for lack of the financial means, allow today to take measures that limit the
inherent risks to the superposition of networks, and this without trouble for people and the wild
animals. A better knowledge of the way of life and needs of fauna should allow to optimise the cost of
constructions like wildlife passage or fences. Before building a passage, it is necessary to choose a

suitable site and then to verify its long-term efficiency.
During the survey of a new infrastructure of transport, difficulties often appear essentially because of a
lack of understanding between the engineer and the biologist. Mistakes in the conception of the
mitigation measures lead to disruptions of the natural environment. Exaggerated environment
requirements may imperil the pursuit of the survey and the realization of transport routes qualified of
Sometimes, after some years, wildlife passages are not used by fauna any more, either due to
modifications of the fitting out, or by a lack of follow-up and maintenance. The objectives of this survey
are to establish a concept that takes the whole fauna into consideration at the time of the planning and
the exploitation of transportation networks.

3. Switzerland's wildlife corridors
Contact: Dr. Otto Holzgang, Swiss Ornithological Institute, CH ñ 6204 Sempach, Switzerland. Phone:
++41 41 462 97 00, Fax: ++41 41 462 97 10, email:
Roads, railway lines and settlements fragment habitats of wild animals. In addition, many traditional
migration trails between habitats have been interrupted by the construction of fenced highways,
forcing the animals to use small and sometimes artificially determined corridors for their movements.
The aim of this study was to localise existing or interrupted natural axes of dispersal and migration, to
detect wildlife corridors and bottlenecks, and to suggest measures to improve today’s situation.
We used the following three sources of information: (a) Temporal and spatial analyses of hunting
statistics mark the distribution of wild animals. (b) The cantonal wildlife services and/or hunters were
interviewed on the area of distribution and movements of roe deer, chamois, wild boar, red deer and
alpine ibex, following a specific questionnaire. (c) A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to
model the permeability of the landscape. Because many wild animals use forests for their movements,
the model was based mainly on forests and buffer zones, but information on protected areas was also
Our study led to a map giving an overview of the natural axes of dispersal and migration between
habitats in Switzerland. Wildlife corridors were localised and their condition was described. They were
classified by their importance into corridors of national or regional importance. The number of localised
corridors of national importance totals 303, of which 84 (28%) are still intact, 179 (59%) are slightly to
heavily disturbed, and 40 (13%) are interrupted. 68 corridors of national importance need purpose-
built constructions as for example green bridges or wildlife passages. The situation is not satisfactory
at all: at four locations, constructions are already in use, at three locations under construction and at
six locations planned.
To increase in future the landscape's permeability for wildlife, further efforts are required: The
localised corridors and movement axes have to be taken into account in land use planning. Purpose-
built constructions have to be demanded at heavily disturbed or interrupted corridor locations.
Because the constructions are expensive, measures have to be realised stepwise according to a plan
taking costs, success, priority a.s.o. into account. Although we used data of large mammals for this
study, small mammals and even invertebrates will also profit on long terms by open corridors.

4. External Costs of Traffic in the Wildlife and Landscape Ecology Sector
Contact: Guido Masé, ÖKOSKOP AG, Allmend 1, P.O. Box 102, CH-4460 Gelterkinden, Switzerland.
Phone: ++41 61 985 44 60, Fax: ++41 61 985 44 28, email: oekoskop@oekoskop
Traffic causes damage in landscape, ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. The disruption of
ecological functions affects not only nature itself but also the basis of human life and economy, e.g.
water quality, natural resources and biological pest control. These costs are usually not recognized
and certainly not paid for by various users of traffic systems. So far, some studies concerning the
costs of the impact on humans and human health have been conducted. To fill a gap, a preliminary
study (1998) and now a major study (in progress) are trying to establish an estimate of the minimal

costs that traffic causes in the wildlife and landscape ecology sectors.
First a framework has been developed to categorize the effects of traffic. The categories are as
follows: air, climate, water, soil, wildlife and landscape, noise and light. Subcategories include effects
of infrastructure, buildings and maintenance and operation of traffic itself, direct and indirect. These
effects have been established and weighed with the help of literature and experts. The relevant effects
for which a good database and calculation models exist, have been selected as a basis for the main
study. They should cover 60% to 80% of the dimension of all the effects of traffic.
The Swiss landscape of around 1950 forms the comparative standard of a semi natural landscape
with very limited influence from traffic infrastructure (setting aside effects of globally trading goods and
organisms). Against this, the changes brought by traffic systems (especially roads and railway lines)
up to 1998 will be measured. The next step will be to establish the proper method to calculate these
changes for different areas of Switzerland (Plateau, Jura, Alps) and for varied land use (forested,
cultivated and urban areas). This requires a pilot study. Random samples will help to establish the
extent of this change. The measures will be habitat loss, loss of habitat quality and fragmentation of
habitats. This will allow formulation of mitigating and compensating measures like underpasses and
restoration of agricultural land away from large traffic systems to semi natural ecosystems.
Foreseeably, the main method of calculating the costs of traffic will be to establish the costs of these
measures in the areas tested and apply them to the whole of Switzerland with regard to the different
characteristics of areas. The major study will be completed in the year 2000. We are very interested in
contacts regarding this issue.

                            Annex 4
Interreg II - Examples in Alpine Regions

Note to the reader:

This information was taken from the EC web site:

The sections of text which are highlighted in bold are based on the
author’s emphasis, and do not reflect the original version from the

Italy / Switzerland

Outline of Programme - Sheet N°
The European Commission has approved an operational
programme under the Community Initiative INTERREG II designed
to develop cross-border cooperation between Italy and Switzerland
and to promote economic development and growth. The
programme covers border areas in the regions of Lombardia, Valle
d’Aosta, Piemonte and in the province of Bolzano. These areas
tend to be sparsely populated, with a significant level of
employment in the agricultural sector, but a much lower
employment rate in other sectors which are largely subject to
seasonal variations.

The Community part-financing will amount to about 38% of the
total investment, the remainder being provided by national and
regional authorities (54%) and by the private sector (8%). This
Community finance is being provided by the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), Guidance Section.

The main schemes covered by this programme are:

- the economic promotion and growth through cross-border

cooperation between enterprises and institutions and improvement
of infrastructure;

- to develop resources and production in the sectors of agriculture,
forestry and fishing and to conserve fish (in lakes);

- management, preservation and development of the natural,
historical and cultural heritage to promote tourism.

This programme forms part of the implementation of the
Community's INTERREG II initiative, a set of measures designed
to promote cross-border cooperation, to help regions overcome
problems arising from their comparatively isolated locations, to fill
gaps in energy networks, and to provide interconnections with
wider European networks.

Contact this address for the complete programme text or for
further information on the programme:
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Dipartimento per il coordinamento delle Politiche
Via del Giardino Theodoli, 66
I - 00186 Roma
Tel: +39 6
Fax: +39 6

INTERREG II C - France / Italy
Spatial planning and combating drought

Outline of Programme - Sheet N° (1998)

The European Commission has approved a Community

Initiative programme intended to prevent flooding in the
Mediterranean regions of France (Languedoc-Roussillon,
Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Corsica) and
Italy (Val d'Aosta, Piemonte, Liguria) thanks to improved
equipment and the exchange of information. Although they will
not be receiving Community funds under the programme, the
Spanish authorities will be associated with the work.

Community part-financing amounts to 35.63% of the total
investment, with the remainder of the expenditure being borne
by the French and Italian national governments and the local
authorities. Community financing will be from the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The programme comprises the following subprogrammes :

- Flood management and spatial planning to facilitate the
implementation of flood protection measures, the spread of
information among the local population, the design of a
method enabling the local authorities to perceive and assume
responsibility for the risk, and the improvement of weather
forecasting tools.

- Risk prevention by means of a better joint approach to
forecasting. In view of the importance of measuring
precipitation on the ground and the flow rate of rivers in
evaluating the risks in real time, there is a need to develop an
observation network making it possible for neighbouring
regions to exchange comparable measurements, and to
reinforce the area's hydrometeorological system to this end
(rainfall and hydrometric stations, completion of the

Mediterranean Arc's radar cover).

Contact this address for the complete programme text or for
further information on the programme:
Monsieur Michel Lorne
Préfecture de la Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Bd Paul Peytral
F- 13282 Marseille Cedex 20
Tel: +33 4 91 15 62 74
Fax: +33 4 91 15 61 90

Monsieur De Venere
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Dipartimento per i Servizi Tecnici Nazionali
Via Curtatone 3
I-00185 Roma
Tel:+39/6/44 44 25 15
Fax:+39/6 44 44 24 36

Italy / Austria

Outline of Programme - Sheet N° (1997)
The European Commission has approved an operational
programme under the Community Initiative INTERREG II designed
to develop cross-border co-operation between Italy and Austria
and to promote economic development and growth. The area is
eligible under Objective 5b and is mainly mountainous - the
ecologically sensitive Alps - with a population of 2,144,000 which is
decreasing in the border areas. There is a strong agricultural
sector, businesses are mainly small and micro-enterprises in
handicrafts which have difficulties in accessing capital and there is
a largely seasonal employment pattern.

The Community part-financing will amount to 43.2% of the total

investment, the remainder being provided by national and regional
authorities(43.8%) and by the private sector (13%). This
Community finance is being provided by the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund and the
Guidance Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and
Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

The main schemes covered by this programme are:

- exploitation and promotion of the common historical and cultural
heritage of the border regions concerned;
- reducing the problems inherent in the use of different languages,
administrative procedures and legal systems on the two sides of
the border;
- co-operation aimed at safeguarding the environment;
- development of the transborder agricultural and forest co-
operation, safeguarding of flora and fauna;
- valorisation of tourism;
- development of favourable conditions for SMEs;
- actions for professional training;
- technical assistance.

Contact this address for the complete programme text or for
further information on the programme:
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Dipartimento per il coordinamento delle Politiche
Via del Giardino Theodoli, 66
I - 00186 Roma
Tel: +39 6
Fax: +39 6

Dipl. Ing. M. Bruckmoser
Sektion IV
Hohenstaufengasse 3

A - 1010 Wien
Tel: +43 222 531 15-2910
Fax: +43 222 531 15-4120

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