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The Infrastructure and Ecology Network Europe (IENE) recently held its postponed International Conference LIFE LINES – Linear Infrastructure Networks with Ecological Solutions, bringing together experts in transportation, infrastructure, and ecology, including staff from the Center. The event focused on advancing initiatives that increase awareness, collaboration, and action for more sustainable linear infrastructure—such as roads, railways, and canals—that safeguard nature.

Convened in a virtual format and hosted by the University of Évora in Portugal from January 12-14, 2021, this year’s program included 45+ thematic sessions, side events, workshops, and trainings. Throughout the conference, hundreds of participants shared experiences to make linear infrastructures planning and management more sustainable worldwide.

The Center for Large Landscape Conservation was involved in planning two workshops:

Advancing the Role of NGOs to Promote Wildlife-Friendly Infrastructure

The Center and the IUCN WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG) collaborated with World Wildlife Fund-US to run this workshop premised on the fact that linear infrastructure—roads, railways, transmission lines, pipelines, canals, fences, etc.—is a major cause of habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss worldwide. Twenty-eight participants came together at this workshop to hear varying perspectives from around the world and to discuss how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can play a more significant role in addressing the social, economic, cultural, and environmental effects of linear infrastructure. Rob Ament, Senior Conservationist for the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, presented along with experts in the field.

The organizers of the workshop committed to continue the conversation by further disseminating workshop outcomes, devising a platform for interested parties to interact, and formulating actionable items for the NGO community. Interested collaborators are encouraged to contact the Center for Large Landscape Conservation at melissa@largelandscapes.org.  

Corridors and Crossings: Guidance for Connectivity Conservation Impacted by Linear Transportation

The Center and the CCSG Transport Working Group brought together 35+ participants to contribute to this interactive workshop. The session was organized to receive additional input to continue improving the current advanced draft manuscript of a publication tentatively titled ‘Addressing the impacts of linear transportation infrastructure on ecological connectivity’ that is expected to be published in the IUCN WCPA Technical Report Series in 2021. The primary goal of the publication is to serve as an authoritative, global source of information for protected-area managers and staff, with a focus on roads, railways, and canals. The aim of the guidance is to demonstrate the multiple actions in policy, research, technology, and public involvement that are possible to serve the needs of local communities while preserving ecosystems, ecological connectivity, and wildlife populations.

In addition to fielding numerous ideas for illustrative case studies, workshop facilitators informed all participants of the upcoming online consultation for improving the publication, and that more contributors to the case studies are welcome. Interested collaborators are encouraged to contact the Center for Large Landscape Conservation at melissa@largelandscapes.org


For details on the above workshops, including a full list of presenters, visit the CCSG’s Connectivity News site

Learn more about our International Connectivity program