News

EEA Reports on Landscape Fragmentation, Recommends Wildlife Corridors

5 September 2011: The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment have released a report, titled “Landscape Fragmentation in Europe,” demonstrating how land areas in Europe become unable to support high levels of biodiversity when they are split into smaller and smaller parcels.

The report illustrates how roads, motorways, railways, intensive agriculture and urban developments are breaking up landscapes, with potentially devastating consequences for flora and fauna across the continent. The report concludes that, although the situation is critical, there are several proactive policies that could provide more effective protection of remaining unfragmented areas: wildlife corridors could successfully reverse the trend of fragmentation; planners should aim to upgrade old roads instead of building new roads, and to "bundle" new infrastructure, for example by building bypasses close to settlements or constructing road and rail routes next to each other; where the volume of traffic has fallen, roads should be reduced in size or dismantled completely; and cumulative effects need to be considered more effectively, based on the precautionary principle, to avoid repeating mistakes of the past. [EEA Press Release] [Publication: Land Fragmentation in Europe]