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Dec. 17, 2020
The SaveGREEN project is set to work on the critical theme of ecological corridors in the Carpathian and further mountain ranges of the Danube region.
Currently, eco-corridors are threatened by the lack of adequate planning of economic development initiatives. Linear transport infrastructure, urban development, intensive agricultural, forestry, and water management practices can interrupt ecological corridors, cause traffic-deaths, and lower the reproductive success of key species and the effectiveness of ecosystem services we all depend on.
Through the improvement of cross-sectoral cooperation in the fields of nature conservation, natural assets management (i.e. wildlife, forests, water), transport, and land use/spatial planning, SaveGREEN will enhance Green Infrastructure coherence in the Carpathian, Alpine and Balkan mountain valleys. It will do so by planning and implementing coherent integrated mitigation measures to minimise the negative impact of economic development.
Pilot areas
1. Kobernausser forest (Austria)
2. Pöttsching, Alpine - Carpathian Corridor (Austria)
3. Beskydy-Kysuce cross-border area (Czech Republic-Slovakia)
4. Novohrad-NógráD SK-HU cross-border area (Slovakia-Hungary)
5. Zakarpattia region (Ukraine)
6. Mureş valley (Arad-Deva, Romania)
7. Mureş Valley (Târgu Mureş – Târgu Neamţ, Romania)
8. Rila-Verila-Kraishte Corridor (Bulgaria) 
SaveGREEN will foster cross-sectoral and transnational cooperation, as well as building a comprehensive know-how, towards the development of concrete solutions that are aimed at improving, restoring, and preserving the functionality of key ecological corridors in Carpathian, Alpine and Bulgarian mountain valleys.
  • Development of a standardised monitoring methodology for structural and functional connectivity, including an application toolbox for the monitoring of structural and functional connectivity for field experts.
  • Development of a capacity-building programme for public authorities and key stakeholders on how to integrate Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), and cost-benefit analysis into the project planning processes.
  • Development of cross-sectoral operational plans to safeguard the functionality of ecological corridors in the pilot areas engaging relevant stakeholders of the specific pilot areas and the national level.
  • Implementation of selected actions of the local cross-sectoral operational plans.
  • Support the mainstreaming of ecological connectivity into EU and global policies through cooperation among macro-regional strategies (i.e. EUSDR and the Carpathian Convention).
  • Development of recommendations towards the integration of mitigation measures/GI into sectoral policy and decision making.
  • Strengthening of cross-sectoral cooperation among key players, promotion of project results in the Danube basin and beyond, and capacity building at the national level. 
Main expected results
  • The local cross-sectoral operational plans developed with stakeholder groups — for at least seven locations across seven countries in the Danube region — will present innovative and integrated solutions for increasing ecological functionality in the respective areas.
  • The developed monitoring method applied in the pilot areas will create knowledge and lessons learnt for the improvement of the management of crossing structures and their surrounding land use.
  • The participatory approach for the development of cross-sectoral operational plans will create ownership by those who have the power to implement the plans. Moreover, stakeholder groups in the pilot areas will benefit from the uptake of lessons learnt from other pilot areas with complementary foci (e.g. agriculture, forestry, water management) and results of the ConnectGREEN and TRANSGREEN projects at the transnational level.
  • At the policy level, the recommendations formulated as part of SaveGREEN will influence decision-making bodies to include financial allocations for environmental measures in the new national disbursement programmes for EU funds and mainstream ecological connectivity in European and regional policy-making fora. 
Project overview
Duration: 1 July 2020 – 31 December 2022
Funding: € 2 756 617.57
Donor: Interreg Danube Transnational Programme

Project Partners:
Austria: WWF Central and Eastern Europe (leading partner); Environment Agency Austria,
Bulgaria: Black Sea NGO Network; Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation
Czech Republic: Friends of the Earth, Olomouc branch; Transport Research Centre
Hungary: CEEweb for Biodiversity; Szent Istvan University
Romania: Zarand Association; EPC Environmental Consulting Ltd.; WWF Romania
Slovakia: WWF Slovakia; Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava – SPECTRA Centre of Excellence of EU

Associated Partners:
Austria: Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation, and Technology; Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism
Bulgaria: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Executive Forest Agency; Southwestern State Enterprise SE – Blagoevgrad
Czech Republic: Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic; Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic
France: Infrastructure and Ecology Network Europe (IENE) | Germany: Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection
Hungary: NIF National Infrastructure Developing Private Company Limited; Ministry of Agriculture; Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate
Romania: Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests; Ministry of Public Works, Development and Administration; Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications
Slovakia: State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic; Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic; Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic; National Motorway Company Ukraine: M.P. Shulgin State Road Research Institute State Enterprise – DerzhdorNDI SE; Department of Ecology and Nature Resources of Zakarpattia Oblast Administration
Factsheet Corridor Rila-Verila-Kraishte 40.96 MB (pdf) Download
Roll up 31.13 MB (pdf) Download
Flyer 29.36 MB (pdf) Download