coperta-carteToward the Protection of Biodiversity and Ecological Connectivity in Multi-Layered Systems (NOMOS Publishing, 2013, Baden Baden, Germany) aims at investigating the legal and policy instruments, which directly or indirectly affect biodiversity protection and ecological connectivity at the international, EU, regional (Alpine and Carpathian Conventions), national and subnational levels. At national and subnational levels, some of the Carpathian countries, i.e. Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Serbia and Ukraine, have been selected for in depth analysis. Cross-border cooperation between these States is examined as an instrument for promoting biodiversity within and outside national borders.

In particular, each chapter of the book, edited by Mariachiara Alberton, Senior Researcher at EURAC in Bolzano Bozen, Italy, identifies the legal and policy acts that support the maintenance or further improvement of ecological connectivity and the protection of habitats and species at different governance levels.

Moreover, the research tries to identify those ‘legal barriers’, such as institutional and legislative frameworks that prevent, affect, and hinder the maintenance or further improvement of ecological connectivity and the protection of habitats and species.

As a general consideration, the environment is a transversal policy issue that touches upon many important sectors, including land-use, spatial planning, energy, agriculture, water management, transport and tourism. These sectors in turn can belong to the jurisdictions of a number of authorities that are entitled to regulate different aspects of the same issue. The pluralism of actors dealing with environmental-related issues inevitably creates overlaps, grey zones, conflicts or even gaps. Therefore, the institutional framework composed of various territorial and sectoral levels may affect greatly the effectiveness of the protection of biodiversity and ecological connectivity.

Thus, to understand whether biological diversity and ecological connectivity are coherently enhanced and promoted overall, as an integrated interest, a multi-level and multi-sectoral approach is applied throughout the book.

Within the framework of a common grid of research questions, the book investigates the following fields and sectors: protected areas and biodiversity, landscape, land-use planning, management and control, environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments, agriculture and agro-environment, forestry, water, hunting, tourism, and cross-border cooperation.

This publication has been written within the Project ‘Integrated Management Of Biological And Landscape Diversity For Sustainable Regional Development And Ecological Connectivity In The Carpathians (BIOREGIO Carpathians)’ financed by the European Commission through the South East Europe Programme.

Among the authors:

Marco Onida, Former Secretary General of the Alpine Convention,

Mariachiara Alberton, Senior Researcher in Environmental Law, Project Manager, EURAC, Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism, Bolzano/ Bozen, Italy,

Raul Cazan, Researcher and Editor-in-chief at 2Celsius Network, Bucharest, Romania,

Harald Egerer, Head of the UNEP Vienna – ISCC Office and Secretary of the Carpathian Convention on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP Vienna, Austria,

Ludwig Krämer, Former Official of the European Commission – DG Environment, and Visiting Professor, University College London, London, UK,

Barbara Iwanska, Researcher (Assistant Professor), Department of Environmental Protection Law, Jagiellonian University (Uniwersytet Jagielloński), Krakow, Poland.

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