A sunny day somewhere in the Swiss Engadin valley. Cries and laughter come from a group of usually stressed managers in a medium-sized Swiss company handling unusual tools for them: motor saws, brush cutters, and forks. The group is participating in a “nature day” event, a team building session where they participate in nature protection activities under the supervision of local farmers and biologists. Their activities of clearing meadows from bushes and trees contribute to safeguarding important habitats for specific plants and animals and improving ecological connectivity. The farmers involved in the project benefit from important additional work power and they get paid for hosting and overseeing the activities of the group.
This example is one of the numerous measures carried out to improve the functional links between habitats by the Alpine Pilot Regions for Ecological connectivity that were presented during the 2 Workshops that took place in the Eastern and Western Alps in March 2017.
The project partners of the GreenConnect project will now analyse in more detail the possible positive socio-economic effects of such activities in the concerned regions. The project should allow a widening of the approach to the topic of ecological connectivity by adding a social and economic dimension to the dialogue and provide additional arguments for the exchanges with the (local) stakeholders.
The results of this analysis will be presented at the project’s final conference in autumn 2017.