Connecting the Atlantic to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to the Baltic.
Based on the enthusiastic response to our Pyrenees to Carpathians natural green corridor idea, the European Wilderness Society decided to develop the idea further into a Pan European Green Corridor Network (PEGNet). We believe that such a network can be set up for the implementation and promotion of wilderness and wildlife preservation across the continent.
The Pan-European Green Corridor Network initiative aims to create a vast unbroken ecological corridor connecting natural landscapes from the Atlantic coast to the Black Sea and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean.
This initiative will be implemented in various phases like connecting mountains in Portugal, the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees and the Massif Central to the Alps, and eventually, the Carpathians and the Balkans, along which natural ecological processes are allowed to create a landscape rich in biodiversity to the benefit of nature and humanity.
Europe is a highly fragmented continent. Vast areas of Europe’s last great wild places have also been transformed into urban zones or cut up by an increasingly dense transport network. Recent statistics from the European Environment Agency illustrate just how significant these changes are. In a single decade around 5% of EU territory has been covered with concrete or otherwise converted into completely artificial surfaces including industrial areas, holiday resorts and infrastructure. Europe’s motorways have increased in length by almost 41% (15,000 km) within that same period and will increase by 12,000 km in the years to come. In densely populated countries like Belgium, the average size of contiguous land units not dissected by major transport routes has been reduced to just 20 km2 (EU average is 130 km2).
The Pan-European Green Corridor Network offers a unique opportunity to recreate natural connections and routes throughout Europe, with wilderness areas coupled with the Natura2000 Network as resting and mating places for the migratory animals along these corridors. In order to maximize the contribution of PEGNet to wilderness protection, the project includes the following three elements:
- habitat restorations based on locating gaps in the current network of protected areas
- supporting a sustainable comeback of wildlife in Europe
- communicating the socio-economic benefits of large scale European-wide green corridor set up with special attention of preserving wilderness for future generations