MAJOR PROJECT ACTIONS

Note: at the monent, the project is still on-going so not all outputs and results have yet been produced. They will be succesively added to this website as they become available.

 

Note: at the monent, the project is still on-going so not all outputs and results have yet been produced. They will be succesively added to this website as they become available.

 

Analysis of conditions for ecological connectivity enhancement in Polish Carpathians

 

The analysis covered the whole area of the Polish Carpathians, i.e. 200 communes located in 3 voivodeships (provinces): Śląsk (Silesia), Małopolska (Lesser Poland), Podkarpacie (Sub-Carpathia). Detailed GIS and expert analyses of available materials and spatial and descriptive data related in particular to land cover, ecosystem types, nature conservation, investments, and spatial planning were performed. Data processing was focused primarily at identifying threats to ecological connectivity stemming mostly from built-up areas: existing housing (and its spatial arrangement: condensed or dispersed), its planned/anticipated development, as well as from large-scale infrastructural investments (mostly: national highways). Fragmentation indices, landscape diversity indices, etc. were also calculated and mapped.

Based on the analysis, a diagnosis of the current state of ecological connectivity was performed, and hotspots: sites where ecological connectivity was threatened were identified.

Results of the analysis are visualized among thematic layers on the project geoportal. They were also provided to nature protection authorities (regional directorates for environmental protection) to support their statutory tasks. 

Consultation seminars with representatives of Carpathian institutions at the regional level

 

Organizing and carrying out 3 consultation seminars for representatives of Carpathian institutions at the regional levelThe first seminar was specifically dedicated to consultations with representatives of 3 Regional Directorates of Environmental Protection of Carpathian voivodeships (provinces). The other two seminars were attended (again) by representatives of the Regional Directorates, and also by representatives of Regional Forestry Authorities, national and landscape park authorities, regional self-government offices of the 3 Carpathian voivodeships, as well as selected NGOs, local (commune) authorities, and finally local action groups. Altogether, the seminars were attended by 59 participants.

Objectives and thematic scope of the seminars:

  • presenting and consulting the outcomes of – and conclusions from the above-described analysis of specific conditions of shaping ecological connectivity in the Carpathians;
  • collecting feedback on the suggested contents and approaches to trainings for local self-governments and local action groups (see below)

Geoportal and mobile application

 

1. The mobile application

The application permits identification and mapping of green infrastructure elements divided into 14 categories:
1) field margins (balks);
2) meadows and pastures;
3) wetlands;
4) groups of trees;
5) groups of shrubs (bushes);
6) tree rows, alleys, etc.;
7) rows of shrubs (bushes);
8) orchards and gardens;
9) forests and parks;
10) standing water bodies;
11) rivers and streams;
12) ditches and canals;
13) terrestrial animal passages;
14) aquatic animal passages on watercourses.

 The application also permits track registration during a field outing, saving of registered objects, assigning various characteristics to registered objects – including a documenting photograph – and finally exporting the data to a dedicated user workspace on the geoportal.

 The mobile application is designed for Android mobile devices and can be downloaded from GooglePlay. The English version is launched automatically when the device's system language is set to English. 

 2. The geoportal

The geoportal can be accessed via the GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE GEOPORTAL module on the project website. It permits visualization and analysis of the following topics:

1) results of the analysis of conditions of shaping ecological connectivity in the Carpathians (see above), in the form of the following thematic layers:

  • ecological corridors – both national and regional shown in the 3 Carpathian voivodeships – including core areas, ecological networks, potential migration routes;
  • landscape indices;
  • existing built-up areas with both condensed and dispersed housing;
  • spatial planning policy – results of analyses of the communes’ spatial planning documents, incl. an assessment of building reserves;
  • habitat fragmentation.

 2) thematic, reference nature-related data:

  • protected areas – national and landscape parks, natura reserves, Natura 2000 areas, protected landscape areas, ecological sites, nature-landscape complexes, nature monuments;
  • ecosystem types occurring in Polish Carpathians;
  • boundaries of communes within the scope of application of the Carpathian Convention in Poland;

3) results of field inventory of green infrastructure elements carried out using the mobile application (see above), broken into 14 categories of green infrastructure elements, coherent with categories defined in the mobile application. 

4) user-specified auxilliary data - e.g.:

  • own SHP files,
  • GPX satellite navigation files
  • KML Google Earth files;
  • WMS layers.

One user account and login permits coherent and integrated work with the mobile application and the geoportal and contents synchronization between them. Field data acquired using the application can be exported to the geoportal and stored in a dedicated user workspace, where they can be further edited.

A short tutorial on how to use the application and geoportal (incl. exercise / mock login data) is included in the project KNOWLEDGE BASE.

Trainings for self-governments and other local stakeholders Carpathian municipalities.

 

A series of 15 two-day trainings for representatives of Carpathian stakeholders were conducted in the period April-September 2018. Altogether, 182 participants attended, representing Local Action Groups (39%) and local self-government (commune - incl. city) offices (33%), as well as NGOs, regional self-government authorities, national forestry authorities, protected areas, and academic institutions.

The trainings covered the following themes:

  • green infrastructure: its definition, respective elements of green infrastructure, its role and importance for of biological diversity (conservation of valuable habitats and species, ecological connectivity) and for man (shaping the landscape, ecosystem services);
  • conditions of sustainable management of space – including its natural assets – by through green infrastructure development, and main threats thereto occurring in the Carpathians (dispersed housing, grey infrastructure development);
  • means and instruments of deployment of green infrastructure at the local level – both by private land owners and by local self-governments (exercise with the SWOT analysis);
  • ways of inventorying and mapping green infrastructure elements (field exercise with the mobile application) and processing of acquired data (exercise: work with the geoportal).

E-Learning course

 

The e-Learning course on green infrastructure was created on an e-Learning platform, containing relevant materials, such as:

  • thematic animations;
  • expert presentations;
  • strategic documents;
  • on-line publications;
  • movie materials (VR clips showing respective elements of Green infrastructure, a HD Video short movie);

... grouped into several Learning paths. Selected materials were prepared also in English and are included in the KNOWLEDGE BASE module of this website. 

Competition for local cooperation networks for a case study and action plan on the formation of green infrastructure

 

The Competition for local cooperation networks of stakeholders for a case study and action plan on the conservation and/or development of green infrastructure on the local scale has been described in more detail elsewhere on this website: in a separate LOCAL CASE STUDIES COMPETITION module.

Following the conclusion of the Competition, selected elements of five best case studies will be implemented with project support (funding of a selected element of the winning entry). 

Green infrastructure surveys

 

Two types of surveys on green infrastructure were envisioned in the project:

1) green infrastructure awaress survey among Carpathian inhabitants - conducted in 2 phases: ex-ante (during trainings for local stakeholders and in the initial phase of the Competition) and ex-post (at the end of the project), using a specially developed on-line survey form. The questions were designed to not only determine the level of knowledge and awareness on green infrastructure, but also the level of interest in the topic and understanding its importance for biodiversity conservation (maintaining ecological connectivity) and for local development;

2) identification of major green infrastructure related undertakings implemented in other (i.e. besides Poland) Carpathian countries. This survey is on-going and can be completed on-line via a form available on this website in the CARPATHIAN GI SURVEY module.

Information, education, dissemination

 

The information, education and dissemination activities - with the purpose to promote the topic of green infrastructure and disseminate project outputs - are carried out in the following ways:

  • a series of five local information campaigns at events organized with the five winners/laureates of the green infrastructure Competition for local stakeholders;
  • a publication (both printed and on-line versions, the latter also in English) - Guidebook on formation of green infrastructure in Natura 2000 sites in the Carpathians;
  • thematic maps (display boards and on-line versions) showing the best 5 Competition entries, installed on premises of the 5 winners/laureates;
  • project websites (Polish and English) and social profiles;
  • the layman's report;
  • participation in national and international conferences (e.g. bi-annual Forum Carpaticum conference);
  • networking activities with other LIFE projects and other projects with relevant scope (please, see examples in the LIFE NETWORKING section of this website).

Supporting the implementation of the Carpathian Convention

 

The project supports the implementation of the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (the Carpathian Convention). UNEP/GRID-Warsaw has been a long-time partner and collaborator with the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention established at UNEP/Vienna office. The Secretariat serves as an "interface" leading to the other 6 (besides Poland) Carpathian countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

Among the most notable areas of cooperation will be attending two meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Carpathian Convention: COP5 held in October 2017 in Lillafured (Hungary), and COP6, to be held in the fall of 2020 in Poland. At the latter event (COP6), UNEP/GRID-Warsaw plans a special side event dedicated to the project and also serving as a joint meeting of three Carpathian Convention Working Groups (on Biodiversity, Spatial Planning, and Agriculture and Rural Development) whose mission and scope of activity is most relevant to the project goals.

Besides the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, UNEP/GRID-Warsaw has been also cooperating with the Polish National Focal Point of the Carpathian Convention established at the Ministry of the Environment and is a member of the National Carpathian Convention Steering Committee.

Project LIFE16 GIE/PL/000648 has been co-financed by the European Union within the LIFE Programme
and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management
© Centrum UNEP/GRID-Warszawa 2018-2019