Geopolitics

Planning map for 'robust connection' of OVP

Trans-European nature networks

Great energies have been dedicated to expanding the territory of the reserve through the acquisition of a corridor of land to connect to a nearby reserve and beyond to create a 15000 ha ‘Oostvaardersland’.

dutch ecological network

Map of the proposed dutch ecological network

More ambitious imaginations seek to reorder the binary and nationalised territories of European wildlife to designate, build and manage national and trans-national ecological networks . These reorder the official biogeographies of European wildlife to connect sites like OVP to other wild areas further East and encourage the passage of their mobile nonhuman inhabitants and vectors.

For example a coalition of conservation organisations joined together to form ‘Wild Europe‘. They hope to integrate the EU27 wildlife bonanza into a transeuropean development of wildland ecological restoration, crossing national and even EU borders eastwards. Backed financially by the WWF and a Dutch conservation organization, efforts are underway towards ‘Rewilding Europe’ . With impending CAP reforms there are expectations that rural land abandonment could expand the possibilities for creating wild nature reserves on agricultural land.

Map from Rewilding Europe

An image produced for the 2010 EU conference: ‘Rebuilding the Natural Heart of Europe’

The Dutch ‘Ecological Main Structure’ is an ambitious program to interconnect Dutch nature reserves, which includes infrastructural works to enable wildlife (‘from frogs to deer’) to move around and maintain genetic variety. These include frog passages, badger tunnels, and ‘ecoducts’ for larger wildlife. The ecoduct depicted below saw in one and a half month 259 fallow deer, 134 red deer, 53 wild boars, 380 highland cattle, 20 foxes and a pine marten find a safe crossing.

An ‘ecoduct’ for wildlife to cross a motorway (image: Natuurmonumenten)

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