Technical report: Addressing ecological connectivity in the development of roads, railways and canals

Image Credit: "Wild elephant by the road" by shankar s. is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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July 25, 2023

Ecological connectivity, defined as the unimpeded movement of species and natural processes that support life on Earth, is crucial to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Human activities, such as the development of linear transport infrastructure, cause the fragmentation of the landscape and interrupt this vital connectivity. The consequences are numerous, including habitat degradation, fragmentation, and loss, as well as the creation of physical barriers and filters that impede wildlife movement and ecological flows. Additional impacts range from pollution and the spread of invasive species to changes in hydrology and microclimate, and increased rates of poaching and illegal activities.

This is why IUCN published its first detailed publication on the challenges and solutions of linear transport infrastructure (LTI) and biodiversity. This report, published by the WCPA’s Conservation Connectivity Specialist Group (CCSG), its Transportation Working Group (TWG), and the Center for Great Landscapes Conservation (CLLC), provides critical information for wildlife and nature conservation in the face of rapid population growth and development.

The report underscores the need for increased care, technical skills, and a well-trained workforce to address the growing demand for LTI around the world, particularly in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. Decision makers and planners must strike a balance between the anticipated socioeconomic benefits of infrastructure development and the imperative to safeguard healthy ecosystems, ecological connectivity and biodiversity.

To read the full report, follow the link below:

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