[ReCo - Restore to Connect] - Restoring degraded eco-systems along the Green Belt to improve and enhance biodiversity and ecological connectivity

Duration: 01/03/2023 – 29/02/2026

Funding: Interreg Central Europe

The European Green Belt is the green backbone of Europe and due to its history as the former Iron Curtain, it play a vital role as an international ecological network. Thus, it incorporates many protected areas and biodiversity on the landscape and species level. However, there are also numerous threads to the integrity of this net of ecological corridors, e.g. fragmetation through intensive agriculture or the evergrowing transportation network.

Starting in spring 2023, the new Interreg Central Europe project “ReCo - Restore to Connect” at the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research aims to restore and patch those holes in the EGB. After the preceding Interreg Project "DaRe to Connect" had the main goal to identify potential areas of action and elaborate fitting plans, ReCo is going a step further and starts to actually implement such measures. In 6 pilot regions along the Green Belt - from the Polish Baltic coast, across the German-Czech and Czech-Austrian border regions, to the Adriatic coast of Italy and Slovenia - the project aims to restore degraded ecosystems. By evaluating historical land use data and also analyzing current Sentinel 2 satellite data, suitable areas for appropriate measures are to be determined. The renaturation of these endangered habitats is intended to strengthen biodiversity, improve ecological connectivity and thus counteract the consequences of climate change.
The methods and results implemented in the pilot regions should serve as a model for further projects.
In addition to the University of Vienna (WP Leader) and the BUND Green Belt Department (Lead Partner), 10 other partners from Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Slovenia are involved in the implementation of ReCo.
The implementation will take place in the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE program in the funding period 2021-2027 under the program objective 2.4 “Enhancing protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure”, which aims to improve the protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure. The project is scheduled to run from March 2023 to February 2026. The project is funded by the ERDF.

Project budget overall: 2.820.000€
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 2.256.000€

Website: https://www.interreg-central.eu/projects/reco/

Stefan Fuchs
Manuela Londoño Jiménez