Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe

A Compilation of Results and Outputs from the EU Central Europe TransEcoNet Project

Elmar Csaplovics/Anke Hahn/Christopher Marrs/Stephan Schöps (Hrsg.)

Kurzübersicht

In Central Europe protected areas, such as national parks or biosphere reserves, are often isolated patches of nature conservation. They are surrounded by less protected and/or unprotected areas. Frequently these surrounding areas are intensively used for agriculture, transport infrastructure, industrial sites and human settlements. For animal and plant species the intensive use of landscapes can create barriers which can reduce genetic exchange, posing a threat to biodiversity. To provide animals and plants with possibilities for migration, dispersal and forage and to conserve biodiversity in the long run, valuable natural landscapes need to be spatially connected by ecological networks. Central Europe’s rural border regions are particularly characterised by an interesting mosaic of protected and non-protected areas, though the non-protected areas can still be ecologically valuable nonetheless. Nowadays with the political and economic integration of Europe these former remote landscapes are affected by rapid changes and borderlands are facing the challenge of finding a balance between economic development on the one hand, and protection of their valuable natural and cultural heritage on the other.

ISBN: 9783941216860
Veröffentlicht: April 2018, Band 13. Auflage, Einband: Broschur, Abbildung und Tabellen: zahlr. Tabellen und Fotos, viele davon farbig, Seiten 264, Format 176 x 250 , Gewicht 0.55 kg
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Elmar Csaplovics/Anke Hahn/Christopher Marrs/Stephan Schöps (Editors)

Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe

A Compilation of Results and Outputs from the EU Central Europe TransEcoNet Project

Volume 13 of the series "Remote Sensing and Applied Geoinformatics" / Band 13 der Reihe „Fernerkundung und angewandte Geoinformatik“
Published by Univ. Prof. Dr. habil. Elmar Csaplovics, Lehrstuhl Remote Sensing, FR Geowissenschaften, TU Dresden
(Herausgegeben von Univ. Prof. Dr. habil. Elmar Csaplovics, Lehrstuhl Remote Sensing, FR Geowissenschaften, TU Dresden)

264 pages, format DIN B5 (176 x 250 mm), weight 0.55 kg, cover: paperback, numerous illustrations, many of them colored. Language: English. Price: 39,80 Euro. ISBN 9783941216860. Publishing house: Rhombos Verlag, Berlin 2018

264 Seiten, Format DIN B5 (176 x 250 mm), Gewicht 0,55 kg, Einband: Broschur, zahlreiche Abbildungen, viele davon farbig. Sprache: Englisch. Preis: 39,80 Euro. ISBN 9783941216860. Rhombos-Verlag, Berlin 2018

About this book

In Central Europe protected areas, such as national parks or biosphere reserves, are often isolated patches of nature conservation. They are surrounded by less protected and/or unprotected areas. Frequently these surrounding areas are intensively used for agriculture, transport infrastructure, industrial sites and human settlements. For animal and plant species  the intensive use of landscapes can create barriers which can reduce genetic exchange, posing a threat to biodiversity. To provide animals and plants with possibilities for migration, dispersal and forage and to conserve biodiversity in the long run, valuable natural landscapes need to be spatially connected by ecological networks.
Central Europe’s rural border regions are particularly characterised by an interesting mosaic of protected and non-protected areas, though the non-protected areas can still be ecologically valuable nonetheless. Nowadays with the political and economic integration of Europe these former remote landscapes are affected by rapid changes and borderlands are facing the challenge of finding a balance between economic development on the one hand, and protection of their valuable natural and cultural heritage on the other.
The idea of the project TransEcoNet (Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe) has been to analyse border areas in Central Europe regarding the spatial coherence of ecological networks, the status of biodiversity and ecosystem services and land use development past and present. In addition to spatio-ecological analyses socio-cultural topics such as awareness of ecological networks and general regional ecological values have also been considered. In this publication the scope of project work and the most relevant results are presented.
The individual chapters cover an inventory of ecological networks in Central Europe, an analysis of the history of these ecological networks, the assessment of their biodiversity and ecosystem services in selected regions as well as strategies for raising awareness for ecology as such and for ecological networks in particular. The articles within the chapters have varying spatial foci and also cover regional and local elements.
The results of the project presented in this publication are trans-disciplinary and connect the work of experts coming from remote sensing, nature conservation and environmental education, landscape ecology and conservation biology, regional and spatial planning, as well as cultural history and architecture.

The TransEcoNet project was implemented by the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme cofinanced by
the European Regional Development Fund.

The authors/editors

Prof. Dr. Elmar CsaplovicsProf. Dr. Elmar Csaplovics obtained a doctorate in remote sensing   at TU Wien in 1982. He was a post-doc research fellow at  the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Montpellier and at the Department of Geology, Geophysics and Geoinformatics, FU Berlin 1988-1992. After habilitation in remote sensing at TU Wien he is professor of Remote Sensing at TU Dresden since 1993. He was visiting professor at University College London (2007), at Université Paris VII Denis Diderot (2014) and at TU Wien (2015). His research focus is on remote sensing and applied geoinformation analysis for monitoring and assessment of land use land cover with emphasis on wetlands, arid lands, landscape history and natural heritage.

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Anke_Hahn.Anke Hahn is geographer with a focus on spatial development (University of Trier). She developed, managed and communicated several European territorial cooperation projects and worked for the INTERREG IIIB CADSES Programme 2000-2006. She specialises  in graphic design and intercultural communication with a focus on promoting scientific findings. Currently she is scientific researcher at TU Dresden, Chair of Remote Sensing, and responsible for the communication of the INTERREG Central Europe Project MaGICLandscapes.

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marss

Christopher Marrs has a BA (Hons) Environmental  Management and a Masters in Planning (Research) from the University of Manchester. He worked as a senior environmental consultant in the United Kingdom. Christopher specialises in green infrastructure, landscape ecology and environmental planning. He currently works as  a  scientific  researcher  at  the  TU  Dresden,  Chair   of   Remote Sensing, where he is the project manager for the INTERREG Central Europe Project MaGICLandscapes.

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schoepsStephan Schöps  holds  a  Masters  in  Cultural  Studies,  Geography and Economics  from  the  TU  Dresden.  He  has worked in EU INTERREG programme administration for several years, also as a project manager for the Central Europe Project TransEcoNet, which was running at the Chair of Remote Sensing   at  TU  Dresden  from  2009  until   2012.   He   is   now  coordinating   the   environmental    management    and    working for   the   Directorate   of   Property    Management,  Technology  and Security of TU Dresden.^

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The Editor of the series/Der Herausgeber der Schriftenreihe

Prof. Dr. techn. habil. Elmar Csaplovics leitet den Lehrstuhl Geofernerkundung am Institut für Photogrammetrie und Fernerkundung der Technischen Universität Dresden

Prof. Dr. techn. habil. Elmar Csaplovics,  Research Group Remote Sensing, Department of Geosciences, Technische Universität Dresden

Kontakt:
TU Dresden, Institut für Photogrammetrie und Fernerkundung, Helmholtzstraße 10, 01062 Dresden

.
http://www.tu-dresden.de/ipf/

Professur Geofernerkundung

Prof. Dr. Elmar Csaplovics: "In a unregulary order, scientific papers being edited and supervised at the Department of Remote Sensing will be published in an appealing way in this series, which we believe will enrich the range of literature on the subject of project-oriented applied remote sensing research and we wish accordingly a critical crowd of readers."

Prof. Dr. Elmar Csaplovics: "In loser Folge sollen in dieser Schriftenreihe wissenschaftliche Arbeiten, die am Lehrstuhl für Fernerkundung bearbeitet und betreut werden, in ansprechender Form veröffentlicht werden. Wir glauben, dass dadurch das Spektrum von Literatur zum Themenkreis projektorientierter angewandter fernerkundlicher Forschung nachhaltig bereichert werden kann und wünschen uns demgemäß eine kritikfreudige Schar von Leserinnen und Lesern."

Editorial

Professor Elmar Csaplovics, Technische Universität Dresden

„Man braucht jetzt ein Visum für jedes Land extra!“ sagte mein Vetter Joseph Branco. „Zeit meines  Lebens  hab'  ich  so  was  nicht  gesehn.   Jedes   Jahr   hab   ich   überall   verkaufen können: in Böhmen, Mähren, Schlesien, Galizien“ – und er zählte alle alten, verlorenen Kronländer auf. „Und jetzt ist alles verboten. Und dabei hab' ich einen Paß. Mit Photographie.“ Er zog seinen  Paß  aus  der  Rocktasche  und  hielt  ihn  hoch  und  zeigte  ihn der ganzen Runde.“ „Dies ist nur ein Maronibrater“, sagte Chojnicki, „aber sehn Sie her:  es  ist  ein  geradezu  symbolischer  Beruf.  Symbolisch  für  die  alte   Monarchie.   Dieser Herr hat seine Kastanien überall verkauft, in der halben europäischen  Welt,  kann  man sagen. Überall, wo immer man seine gebratenen Maroni gegessen hat, war Österreich, regierte Franz Joseph. Jetzt gibt's keine Maroni mehr ohne Visum. Welch eine Welt!“
Joseph Roth (1938) Die Kapuzinergruft. De Gemeenschap, Bilthoven, Kapitel 30
[“Now a separate visa is needed for each country! “ said my cousin Joseph Branco. ”All my  life I have not seen the like of it. Every year I could sell everywhere: in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Galicia“– and he recounted the old lost Crown lands. ”And now everything is forbidden, yet I have a passport, with photograph“. He drew  out  his  passport from the trouser    pocket    and    held    it    high    and    showed    it     to     the     whole     table. ”This is only a chestnut roaster“, said Chojnicki,”but look here: it is almost a symbolic profession, symbolic for the old monarchy. This gentleman has sold his chestnuts everywhere, in half of the European world, so to say. Everywhere, where his  roasted chestnuts have been consumed, was Austria, and reigned by Franz Joseph. Now there are   no chestnuts without visa. What a world! “]

Dass die politische Entwicklung so hinter der wirtschaftlichen herhinkt, ist  ein  rechtschaffenes Unglück. In Südosteuropa aber hat dieser Widerspruch besonders katastrophale Folgen: denn hier bestand schon einmal die Wirtschaftseinheit der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie. Ihre Zerstörung als Rückwärtsbewegung zu bezeichnen, hat man dann das Recht, wenn man  gleichzeitig  betont,  dass  die  Zerschlagung der politischen Einheit ein Fortschritt war.
Max Herb (1938) Südosteuropa –  Form  und  Forderung.  Editions  Nouvelles  Internationales, Paris, p.19
[That the political lags behind the economic development to such an extent, is verily a misfortune. In South Eastern Europe this contradiction has exceptionally catastrophic consequences: because there existed already  the  economic  union  of  the  Austro- Hungarian Empire. Describing its destruction as a step backwards is justifiable as long as at the same timeit is stressed that the destruction of its political structure was progress.]

Europe’s territories undergo a continuous process of transformation. At the end of the 20th century, which was shaped by severe political and economic deteriorations, an era of common interest and common visions seemed to dawn. Borders were overcome,     at least political borders, in terms of ‘freedom of movement‘ in the countries  of  Western, Southern and increasingly also in  Central  Europe,  the  latter  being integrated step by step under the umbrella of the European Union.
 
After an era of more or less obstructive state borders, of unscalable border walls, electrified  fences  and  minefields  dividing  Europe   into   two   following   World  War II and plenty of border crossing regulations between countries in general, it  has become possible to travel from the Adriatic coast of Slovenia to  the  easternmost fringes of Slovakia without being forced to show up at border inspection points. This freedom however means more than some kind of civil liberty which is increasingly misunderstood as a carte blanche  for  ‘anything  goes’  for  everybody  at  any  time and at  any  place.  By  contrast,  freedom  implies  a  new  dimension  of  making  use of that liberty responsibly. The European citizen should understand that  taking long-term advantage of that freedom requires acceptance that though or because individuals  have  gained  a  wealth  of  ‘democratic’  rights they have at the same time to fulfil respective obligations in support of peaceful and solidary coexistence at regional, national and European levels. Crossing political borders without restrictions allows for the stepping at will from one region to the other, each   characterised   by     its very specific cultural traditions, languages and socio-economic as well as socio-ecological  ways  of  interaction  between  people  and  resources  and  its  specific attitudes and folklore.
After 20 years of experiences of a ‘Europe without borders’ it has become obvious that based on the fact that this specific ‘Europe’ represents only a privileged part of the European territory and the term ‘open/closed borders‘ embraces a surprising variety of different types of ‘borders’, the political border is but one of many. When political borders disappeared new types of borders gained influence. The assumption that a ‘Europe without borders’ will, at the same time, foster cross-border understanding and solidarity is not at all self-evident. Borders of language, of different levels of economic wealth, of ethnicity became more important and replaced the ‘trivial’ border-line marked by fences, or at least by border stones and  warning signs. Above all it is a matter of  fact that the formerly closed Central European state borders were only shifted to the east. The new (old) ‘hard’ borders now exist between the European Union and the neighbouring non-member states such as Belarus, Ukraine and Serbia, while the borders between the Soviet satellite states and the Soviet Union itself have been ‘hard’ borders before 1989 and remain so to this day. Additionally mental borders emerge   and fade in space and time depending on oscillations of political and economic developments and changes. Xenophobia wafts here and there, fuelled by ill-fated movements, fear and agitation. The Europe of the early 21st century is far off from a unified, at least solidary federation of (former) nation states.

The human being needs borders, searches for them, always creating new ones. They are    the markers of identity formation, or more precisely: border as question of  identity  and identity as question of border.
Benjamin Grilj (2012) Border – Attempt of a Phenomenology, in Csaplovics E (ed) Lost Landscapes - Reflections from Central European Border Regions. Murska Sobota, p.94

Funding programmes such as EU-INTERREG are therefore all the more indispensable and a means to support the development, implementation and establishment of cross- border and transboundary initiatives of enhancing common understanding, cooperation and coexistence at the European level. They bring together actors in different fields of interest, from economy and society to cultural affairs and environmental protection. These programmes stimulate understanding and common action for balancing heterogeneous interests and the establishment and maintenance of platforms of  communication and networking and, importantly, promote tolerance, mutual respect and friendship (without borders).
Dealing with the ‘natural world‘ makes  things  easier  when  talking  of  and  dealing with borders. Nature as such does not recognise (state) borders or boundaries except those which are imposed by climatic, geological and ecological characteristics.

Étudiées pour elles-memes et en elle-memes, montagnes, rivières et forets livrent peu  à   peu lentement leurs secrets. Des limites? Souvent, sans doute. Dans la mesure où  elles  sont  réellement  des  obstacles.  Mais  des   traits   d’union   aussi,   de   centres   d’expansion et de rayonnement, des petits mondes attirants doués de valeur propre, liant entre eux étroitement des hommes des pays mitoyens. En tout cas, des limites „nécessaires“, jamais!
Lucien Febvre (1922) La Terre et l’Évolution Humaine. Introduction Géographique à l’Histoire. La Renaissance du Livre, Paris, p.366

[When studying mountain ranges, river landscapes and forests as such they disclose their secrets step by step and slowly. Are there limits? Often, no doubt. Given that they represent real obstacles. But they are also  links,  centres  of  expansion  and  of  presence,  little  worlds,  attractive  and  gifted  due  to  their  very  own  values,  closely  interlinking   people  of separated countries. In any case, they are never “necessary“ limits!]

Europe is increasingly shaped by ‘industrialised’ landscapes and a steadily decreasing amount of traditional cultural, semi-natural and ‘wilderness’ landscapes. Borders in traditional cultural landscapes were shaped by interactions of humans with the environment in a more or less ecologically balanced way, such as extensive grazing, small-scale agriculture and selective silviculture. Borders in disturbed environments were and are however largely created by more aggressive forms of human impact, i.e. by agro- and sylvo-industrial exploitation, drainage of wetlands, urbanisation and fragmentation due to expansion of traffic networks.  Secondary  effects  such  as  spread of invasive species and deterioration of soils and groundwater  due  to  discharge of pollutants, fertilisers and pesticides also have an impact as do oscillations of local and regional climate. Natura in its various manifestations serves as a mirror of the complexity of external (environmental) impacts and effects in a holistic sense of understanding. Vegetation explicitly behaves as a more or less immediate responsive matter to external drivers, be they of ‘natural’ or artificial/human origin.
Vegetation in its ecological complexity and the  patterns of interaction between flora  and fauna provide a protective shield against environmental impacts of different kinds as long as biodiversity, density and vitality of vegetation cover remain distinctive and resilient. Networks of vegetation of high ecological value, thus ecological networks, provide a precondition for the preservation and long-term maintenance of highly valuable Europe-wide green infrastructure. They interlink different eco-climatic zones, ecological regions and biotopes of varying scales and by that create a network of ecologically and ‘aesthetically’ outstanding landscapes as a backbone of a ’Green Europe’. Ecological networks are therefore an indispensable means for  sound protection and management of natural resources and of ecological services and green infrastructure.
Transnational Ecological Networks (TransEcoNet) is grounded on a platform of actors coming from transdisciplinary fields of interest, from regional planning and socio- ecological development to landscape ecology as well as from nature conservation to geoinformatics, at different institutional levels, from universities to NGOs in nature conservation and to regional agencies. It is located in six different (in terms of e.g. eco- climatic, socio-economic and political characteristics) regions and in six different countries of Central Europe.
Borders are subtle entities depending on the causes and reasons of their evolution and of their mimicry as well as on their manifestation in space and time. Ecological  networks overcome, depending on time as a crucial factor, any kind of disturbance which is often represented by a boundary-type structure, be it the result of political or economic impact. Sound documentation and qualitative and quantitative analysis (of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) as well as valorisation of  the  benefits of ecological networks are key elements in combatting environmental deterioration as a fatal by-product of the „immobilité fulgurante“ [racing standstill, A/N] of current political structures found in contemporary societies.

Mythomanie d’une quantification encouragée par le développement constant de  l’informatique et de ses effets d’entraînement sur les exigences d’une communication où la rapidité du résultat prime sur sa qualité.
Paul Virilio (2007) L’université du désastre. Galilée, Paris, p.25
[This  mythomania  of  quantification  which  is  encouraged  by  the  continuous   development of informatics and of its practical impact on the requirements of  a communication where the speed of achieving a result dominates over its quality.]

Participative approaches to raising awareness, to re-establishing eroded regional identities (in marginalised border regions),valorising the qualities of ecological network structures for the benefit of the respective local/regional population, reinventing traditional ways of cultivation, of crafts based on local resources, of new (old) ways      of  intercommunication  at local to transnational levels, i.e. in the  local and regional,   the cross border  and  also  the  European  dimension,  have  become  the  driving  force  for  networking based on common socio-ecological and socio-ethical values. In   a second  step, common interest in sound development of the protective management of heritage of cultural and semi-natural landscapes as well as of remaining patches of wilderness landscapes all over (Central) Europe can be established.
TransEcoNet in our understanding is thus both a means for creating responsible approaches to the conservation, the  ecologically-balanced  development/  management and to the valorisation of the ecological qualities of landscapes rich in biodiversity via a Europe-wide network approach as well as a strong and efficient catalyst to stimulate the creation  and  development  of  local  and  regional  interest  and participation. As  a  consequence the benefits of ecological network approaches  are passed over to the communities concerned  and  a  process  of  networking  between ‘nature and people’ is communicated and established. To this end TransEcoNet plays a significant part in contributing to the continuous further development of (European) fora of ecology-minded individuals and of respective  interest groups towards an expansion and maintenance of strong ties of urgently needed intercommunication and solidary action in ‘ecological networking’ from local to European levels.

Contents

Editorial    7
1 The Importance of Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe    11
2 Inventory of Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe    21

Detecting Gaps in the Ecological Network - Transnational Assessment and Regional Studies in Saxony (Germany) and Moravia (Czech Republic)    22
Ecological Networks as an Organisational Framework? Transnational Initiatives in Central European Border Areas    39
Safeguarding Transboundary Ecological Networks in Central Europe –  Spatial Characterisation and Possible Sustainable Management of a Hot   Spot Gap in the Czech-German Border Area    50
Ecological Networks in the Austrian-Hungarian-Slovakian Border Area    61
Biophysical Regionalisation and Comparative Landscape Structure
Analysis of the European Green Belt    70


3 Tracing back the History of Ecological Networks    85

A Miscellany of Roman Topography of Western Pannonia in Support of
the Assessment of the History of Central European Landscapes    86
Visualisation of Landscape Change in the TransEcoNet Investigation Area Kozjanski Park (Slovenia)    111
Impact of Historical Land Use Changes on Ecological Networks in the
Saxon Switzerland Region (Germany) using GUIDOS Software    117


4 Landscape Functionality and Landscape Services of Ecological Networks 125

Investigation Areas used for the Assessment of Landscape Functionality and Landscape Services in Transboundary Ecological Networks 126
The Concept of Ecosystem and Landscape Services – Methods and Approaches 132
Structural Functionality and Protection values of Green Infrastructure in the Neusiedler See & Fertö Area    143
Ecological Stability and Landscape Functionality Assessment in Moravia 156 Airborne Laser Scanning for Biodiversity Assessment of Ecological Networks 164
Services Landscapes provide to Society – Regional Case Studies in the TransEcoNet Project Regions North, Central North and CentralSouth    180

5 Communication of and Awareness for Naturally Valuable Border Landscapes 193

Recording Perceptions of Landscape Change in Central European Transboundary Areas in the 20th Century – the Oral History Approach 194
Interactive Tools to Raise Awareness for Landscape Change in Environmental Education in the Transboundary National Park Region Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland 209
Cultural Landscapes and Ecological Networks – Investigating the Cultural Heritage of the Pomurje Region  216
Interactions of Landscape and Architecture – Field Reports from Central European Border Regions 225
Transitional Landscapes: Dynamics of Nature and Cultural Identities in the Goričko Border Region of Pomurje, North-Eastern Slovenia    237

6 Conclusion    257
7 Acknowledgements    259

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