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The ‘SandAchseFranken’

Location: Franken, Bavaria, Germany, www.sandachse.de

Objective: connect, preserve and create sand biotopes in a metropolitan area

Problems: fast decrease of typical sand biotopes, strong fragmentation, high land prices in urban areas showed prohibitive for land purchase for nature conservation

Solutions: public relations, cooperation and seeking win-win situations; large public support due to communication efforts

Results: Network of sand biotopes, creating new biotopes and management of existing ones, awareness rising of politicians, partnerships with companies and authorities, integration of sand biotopes into  regional planning, regional products (e.g. booze, special flower and herbage composition for sand)

Critical factors of success: good project management and establishment of a "Sand Agency" to create partnerships with private companies, water boards etc (50 in total)

Key learning points: Ecological networks can’t be reached in urban areas by land purchase but by cooperation with land users. Voluntariness and communication is central. Cooperation needs trust -> long lasting institutional structures.

Actors: DVL (German Land care association), BUND Bavaria,Bavarian Bird Protection NGO and local stakeholders (NGOs, Communes, Land care associations, authorities, Universities, landcape planners).

Communication: public relation (e.g. guided tours, talks, web sites, brochures, exhibitions), extension service to land owners,  environmental education to children also to reach the parents

Financing: Bavarian Nature Conservation Fund (Bayrischer Naturschutzfonds), EU (EAGFL) and local administrations and NGOs (currently further financing open)

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