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 Connectivity Conservation Around the World

The Center is committed to elevating connectivity conservation through collaborative partnerships, highlighted by our role as Secretariat of the IUCN WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group. Its 1,300+ volunteer members from 125+ countries are experts working in government, scientific, academic, non-profit, and business sectors who promote connectivity conservation at local to international levels. The Group recruits members and engages partners worldwide to inspire innovation, raise awareness, and increase capacity to achieve a healthier planet of connected ecosystems.  

The IUCN WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group and the Center collaborated with 100+ experts in 80+ countries to deliver the first-ever IUCN Guidelines for Conserving Connectivity through Ecological Networks and Corridors in 2020. Culminating over two decades of effort by the Union, the Guidelines and 25 case studies—now translated from English into four languages—are the leading resource for advancing best practices for maintaining, enhancing, and restoring ecological connectivity. 

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For more information about the WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group, please contact 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 the increasingly threatened core habitats and movement corridors in the Asian elephant’s 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, please contact Aaron Laur.


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