Interreg Adrion, 11 partners from 7 countries (Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece)

Objective: Enhance the capacity in transnationally tackling environmental vulnerability, fragmentation, and the safeguarding of ecosystem services in the Adriatic-Ionian area.
The Interreg ADRION DINALPCONNECT project intervention objective is to strengthen transnational and sectoral cooperation to improve EC throughout Dinaric Mountains connecting them with the Alps. Achiving this goal will enable long term biodiversity protection, in view of current and future climatic changes and as a tool for sustainable development.
Ecological connectivity (EC) enables processes like gene flow, migration and dispersal of living organisms thus counteracting negative effects of habitat fragmentation and climate change. Substantial part of Balkan Peninsula is affected by difficult political and economic circumstances leading to transboundary barriers which pose challenges for EC. More in general, both Dinaric Mountains and Alps are exceptionally rich in biodiversity, but threatened by habitat fragmentation and loss.
To improve EC, eleven DINALPCONNECT partners from seven countries will establish a network of Pilot regions to strengthen transboundary linkages between Natura2000 sites, protected areas and bordering non-protected areas, where EC will be explored and consolidated. Joint action plans for improved EC of transboundary habitats in Pilot Regions will be based on guidelines for agricultural and forestry practices protecting biodiversity.
To support this, existing EU and national agriculture and forestry policies will be examined, giving suggestions for harmonisation with EU legislation. A socio-economic perspective will be included by exploring current pro-biodiversity businesses in the Pilot Regions, preparing guidelines for their development and a feasibility study of setting up learning and trading platform in the project area. At the macro-regional level, project partners will collect spatial data to analyse current EC and identify EC hot-spots (corridors or stepping stones) and barriers. The project will deliver a Strategy for ecological connectivity throughout Dinaric Mountains connecting them with the Alps, which will be adopted by policy makers.
In the Albanian-Greek transboundary area, DINALPCONNECT will support actions leading to the establishment and enhancement of Ecological Connectivity between the National Park of Bredhi i Hotovës, in Albania and the Vikos–Aoös National Park and Tymfi-Gkamila Mountain in Greece; these three sites are all part of Natura 2000 network.
The effort to bolster Ecological Connectivity between these protected areas will also involve cross-border territories and communities neighbouring the protected areas, first of all the Municipality of Permet. DINALPCONNECT will also support local communities in taking up natural capital preservation as a key driver for local development, stimulating initiatives and triggering opportunities for social and economic development.