Advancing Connectivity Conservation in Changing Climates: Tools for Ecological Network Design

Advancing Connectivity Conservation in Changing Climates: Tools for Ecological Network Design

Half-day Workshop

Monday, 22 July 2019


The Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) and the Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG), under the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), will hold a half-day workshop on 22 July at the Species on the Move Conference convening in Kruger National Park. The event will bring together experts from diverse disciplines to learn about and discuss conceptual approaches for connectivity conservation, and provide input and coordinate actions to apply tools, including ecological corridors, to design and manage ecological networks that stem habitat fragmentation and allow species and ecosystems to adapt to climate change.

Workshop Program

13:30-13:35 | Introduction to the workshop | Kathleen Carroll: Facilitator and CCSG Member, Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology and Environmental Science at Montana State University

13:35-13:45 | Presentation: The state of connectivity conservation and the IUCN-WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG), including specific work under the:

  • Transport Working Group
  • Latin America and the Caribbean Transport Working Group
  • Asian Elephant Transport Working Group
  • Marine Connectivity Working Group

Kathleen Carroll

13:45-14:00 | Presentation: (Draft) IUCN guidance for “Safeguarding Ecological Corridors in the Context of Ecological Networks for Conservation” and ongoing global online global consultation (1 July – 30 Sept. 2019) | Kathleen Carroll

 14:00-14:30 | Panel discussion: The unique characteristics and interactions of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine connectivity | Facilitator – Kathleen Carroll

  • Rafael Magris: CCSG Member, Environmental Analyst/Conservation Scientist at Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio)/Brazilian Ministry of Environment
  • Gary Howling: CCSG Member, Director of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) Australia

14:30-15:00 | Presentation: The state of connectivity conservation in Africa and case studies | Jason Bell: Vice-President of Conservation & Animal Welfare, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Roundtable discussion |(Kathleen Carroll, Facilitator and all participants invited to speak)

15:00-16:00 | Break-out groups (choose one):

1) Proposals for improving the (Draft) IUCN guidance

2) Identifying priority geographical areas for ground-testing the guidance

(Jason Bell and Rafael Magris, Facilitators)

16:00-16:30 | Break-out group reports

16:30-16:45 | Conclusions and next steps | Kathleen Carroll


About the draft guidance for “Ecological corridors in the context of ecological networks for conservation”

On behalf of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), the Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group, under the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, is operating a global online consultation from 1 July – 30 September 2019 to gather input for improving the current draft version of guidance for “Ecological corridors in the context of ecological networks for conservation”. The global online consultation will gather diverse input, ensure broad applicability, and rally support for embedding ecological connectivity solutions squarely within more ambitious conservation targets and actions within IUCN, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, other Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and the Post-2020 Framework for Biodiversity.

This advanced draft is the culmination of over two decades of work within IUCN, and serves to implement Members’ Assembly Resolution 2016-087 by publishing the guidance as part of WCPA’s Best Practice Protected Areas Guidelines Series in time for the IUCN World Conservation Congress convening in June 2020 in Marseille (France). The overall objective is to inform more consistent development, designation, planning, and management of connectivity areas and their integration within larger ecological networks. Because the world still lacks a consistent approach to connectivity conservation, this guidance is intended to serve as the touchstone for aiding a global shift in conservation practice from the focus on individual protected areas and species to more coordinated action across all sectors for the conservation of intact large-scale ecological networks. Therefore, the current text seeks to incorporate the growing body of scientific underpinnings into a framework for more coherent large-scale conservation measures that conserve, restore, and complement protected and conserved areas (aka OECMs) by reconnecting fragmented land- and seascapes to effectively enhance the structure and functionality of nature.

Efforts to establish consistent global approaches for connectivity conservation have progressed well since 2016. Based on an earlier draft, a series of consultations was held around the world in 2017 under the auspices of the CCSG. Drawing on feedback from the consultations, collaboration among a core group of lead authors and experts throughout 2018 and early 2019 resulted in this revised draft that seeks to clarify and standardize approaches for protecting the physical spaces that connect protected and conserved areas, enhance comprehensive management through overarching ecological networks, and thus improve large-scale conservation outcomes. The overall objectives of the publication include:

  • Defining ecological corridors and ecological networks for conservation and providing clarity about their purpose as the physical spaces that function to connect protected and conserved areas, as well as other areas deemed important for conservation;
  • Reinforcing the advancement of connectivity conservation science, policy, and law as essential strategies to reduce ecosystem degradation and habitat fragmentation for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, restoration of degraded lands and ecosystems, and the increased resilience of protected and conserved areas:
  • Emphasizing that connectivity conservation is a vital strategy that should be formally promoted to counteract habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss by maintaining and restoring migratory, genetic, and nutrient flows essential to functioning and resilient ecosystems;
  • Demonstrating how connectivity conservation links networks of protected and conserved areas across categories and governance types; ensuring that ecosystems around the world are more resilient and adaptable to global change, and have the ability to sustain ecological integrity and health that meets the needs of present and future generations.
  • Proposing ecological corridors as a supplemental conservation designation for creating and managing bounded areas that maintain and improve biodiversity by knitting together protected and conserved areas into ecological networks of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems;
  • Highlighting best-practices for the identification, spatial recognition, retention, and effective management of ecological corridors and ecological networks for conservation;
  • Providing guidance about how ecological corridors and ecological networks amplify coordinated policy integration, spatial planning, and management approaches by taking account of large landscape dynamics and the roles and contributions of stakeholders; and
  • Presenting a variety of examples from around the world

Any questions can be directed to the CCSG Secretariat at

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