Linear transport infrastructure (LTI) is increasingly a threat to ecological connectivity and biodiversity conservation. Over the last 30 years, many countries have experimented with, and studied various measures designed to minimize the impacts to ecological connectivity and wildlife mortality caused by linear transportation infrastructure—roads, railways, and canals. With the need to enhance collaboration to deal with the rapid expansion of transport systems across the globe, the Transport Working Group was formed under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Commission of Protected Areas (WCPA’s) Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group. The Transport Working Group has developed the IUCN Protected Area Technical Report: Addressing ecological connectivity in the development of roads, railways and canals.
This Technical Report is written by over 30 practitioners from around the world and provides an introductory level international document that is applicable in most environments around the world. It strives to be helpful for managers of protected and conserved areas, transport practitioners from government and private industry, and other stakeholders in those regions experiencing rapid infrastructure development. The Technical Report seeks to increase awareness of crucial LTI issues and their solutions. It provides an overview of feasible, science-based and context-sensitive strategies that are practical and effective for reducing habitat fragmentation and wildlife mortality and enhancing the ecological connectivity of protected and conserved areas facing LTI development.
This presentation will provide an overview of the 10 chapters of the Technical Report and discuss practical applications that can be deployed in a variety of ways to limit the impacts of roads, railways and canals on biodiversity and achieve more effective avoidance, minimization, mitigation and compensation measures that maximize ecological connectivity. It will cover multi-pronged approaches that incorporate policy, research, technology, and public involvement resulting in more sustainable LTI projects.
As the world embarks on the United Nations’ Decade for Ecosystem Restoration and starts implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, addressing the impacts of linear transport infrastructure on ecological connectivity will play a vital role to boost the achievement of conservation targets. The session will highlight the use of the Technical Report as an important tool in efforts to arrest the fragmentation of nature. Overall, it will demonstrate how wildlife-friendly transportation infrastructure, as a critical element of connectivity conservation, serves to halt the loss of biodiversity and increase adaptation to climate change.