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Lebensraum Lechtal  ecological network along a river, a best practice example from Bavaria, Germany

Location: Bavaria, Germany, www.lebensraumlechtal.de

Objective: preserve heath lands threatened by land abandonment and urban sprawl by establishing a 170 km ecological corridor along the river

Problems: land abandonment, insufficient management, urban sprawl

Solutions: integrated multifunctional landscape approach adopted; positive involvement of the key and powerful stakeholders on board; monitoring and evaluation were explicitly integrated in the project

Results: ecologcial connectivity improved due to adaped management and land purchase and active involvement of local stakeholders

Critical factors of success: good cooperation between NGOs and authorities; voluntary participation, integrated approach; effective and efficient organisation; use of working groups to hear stakeholders views

Key learning points: land purchase is not the most effective way (high costs -> just core areas); involvement of stakeholders and land users actively and voluntarily is central; process managers were qualified and remained on their post a long time: trust

Actors: DVL played a leading role; more than 100 stakeholders, local authorities, NGOs, water boards - were involved. The water boards were very cooperative as they share interests in the extensification of the land use

Communication: ecological network maps as communication tools; contact with the stakeholders through workshops

Financing: Bavarian Nature Conservation Fund (Bayrischer Naturschutzfonds)

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