International Connectivity

Connecting People and Ecosystems to Protect Nature Around the World

As human populations grow, we are disrupting nature and threatening the survival of millions of plants and animals that support all life on Earth. Biodiversity is plummeting as increasing development isolates natural areas, hinders wildlife movement, and chokes off the flow of natural processes like water and nutrient cycling, pollination, and seed dispersal.

In response, the International Connectivity Program is leading a global movement to safeguard nature and its biodiversity by conserving the interconnections of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Working with partners around the world, we are driving solutions that protect Earth’s ecological connectivity, which will in turn increase resiliency to climate change, and achieve enduring large-scale conservation.

Promoting Global Guidelines for Connectivity Conservation

The IUCN WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group and the Center have been working since 2016 with 100+ experts in 80+ countries to deliver the first-ever IUCN Guidelines for Conserving Connectivity through Ecological Networks and Corridors. Culminating over two decades of effort by the Union, the Guidelines and 25 case studies will soon be published as the leading resource for advancing best-practices for maintaining, enhancing, and restoring ecological connectivity.

Key elements of the publication are already being applied around the world, and global “ground-testing” has been initiated to demonstrate their effective delivery. Through a growing network of partners, initial efforts are now underway in the Carpathian bioregion of Eastern Europe with a focus on Romania, the Southern Kenya-Northern Tanzania transboundary region of East Africa, Central India’s tiger landscape, and the Chaco-Pantanal bioregion of South America.

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For more information about the work of the International Connectivity Program by writing to Aaron Laur.

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Addressing the Impacts of Infrastructure on the Environment

The Center is addressing the immense impact of linear infrastructure on the environment, especially roads, railways, canals, and transmission lines. For example, through support of the CCSG Transport Working Group, 100+ members are advancing scientific and policy solutions to avoid and mitigate impacts that include habitat fragmentation and wildlife mortality. Additional subgroups are also actively addressing specific and urgent issues.

The Asian Elephant Transport Working Group informs research, data collection, analysis, and capacity-building to protect core habitats and movement corridors in the species’ 13 range states. The Latin American and Caribbean Transport Working Group brings together biologists, transportation practitioners, and financial institution specialists to promote leadership in sustainable planning, design, construction, and monitoring of infrastructure development that supports ecological connectivity.

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For more information about the work of the International Connectivity Program by writing to Aaron Laur.

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