Balancing Ecological Connectivity and Linear Infrastructure

On 19 November, the Center collaborated with the IUCN WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group and other important partners to lead a 90-minute session titled “Balancing Ecological Connectivity and Linear Infrastructure” as the fifth installment of the Infrastructure and Nature Webinar Series.

The webinar addressed the need for urgent actions to balance environmental conservation with the unprecedented rate of current and planned development of linear infrastructure (roads, railways, power lines, canals, gas and oil pipelines, etc.), especially in areas of high biodiversity.

Topics highlighted during the webinar offered diverse perspectives from NGOs, governments, research institutes, and financial institutions working around the world to avoid and mitigate the impacts of linear infrastructure on ecological connectivity, the movement of species, and the flow of natural processes.

We are happy to report that over 400 people participated in the session to hear first-hand perspectives about how to align best-practices in science, policy, and practice for linear infrastructure development that achieves better safeguards for protecting the environment while also boosting social and economic well-being.


Key Speakers

The session was opened by Rob Ament (Senior Conservationist for the Center) and moderated by Kate Newman (Vice President of Sustainable Infrastructure and Public Sector Initiatives at WWF-US).

Featured speakers were as follows:

Part I – Global collaboration for ecological connectivity and sustainable linear infrastructure:

  • Wendy Elliot, Deputy Leader, Wildlife Practice, WWF International
  • Andreas Seiler, Senior Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Chairperson, Scientific and Expert Committee, Infrastructure and Ecology Network Europe (IENE)

Part II – Regional and national perspectives: environmental safeguards for linear infrastructure

  • Dr. Tobias Nyumba, Research Scientist, African Conservation Center and Project Coordinator, Development Corridors Partnership
  • Karma Yangzom, Senior Environment Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB
  • Tamara Látková and Milan Psotný, Engineers at the Slovakian Road Agency
  • Whisper Camel-Means, Wildlife Biologist, Wildlife Management Program, Natural Resources Department, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT)

A recording of the webinar is available online.


What’s Next

Registration is currently open for the final webinar scheduled for 10 December that will reflect on the series and look toward: “Ramifications for the 2021 IUCN World Conservation Congress and Beyond: What have we learned?”