Roads, railways, power-lines and other linear infrastructures are global major threats to biodiversity. Yet, they are also essential to meet the demands of growing populations. Urgent decisions and targeted actions are needed to ensure that the current, very rapid increase in linear infrastructure — particularly in the world’s most biodiverse regions where some of the fastest growth is occurring — does not irreversibly damage the natural environment.
Since 2015, a growing number of professionals and organisations worldwide have joined forces in order to create the International Guidance for Ecologically Friendly Linear Infrastructure (IGELI). As a loose coalition, and comprising the four linear transport infrastructure (TLI) continental conferences ACLIE, ANET, ICOET and IENE (that is organised by one of SaveGREEN's Associated partner), as well as other international organisations such as IUCN and WWF, IGELI aims to ensure that the TLIs built today are safe for both humans and wildlife and are ecologically sustainable.
With this in mind, the mainstreaming of biodiversity in TLI sectors has been introduced as part of the Convention for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) framework and the achievement of the Aichi Global targets in the CBD 2018 COP 14, held in Egypt, thus resulting in the development of the “Global Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Transport and other Linear Infrastructure.” The strategy was completed by an international working group comprising six continents and 29 authors — including 18 authors from Europe, 4 from Africa, 2 from Asia, 1 author from Australia, 3 from North America, and 1 author from South America.
The global strategy aims to support the CBD 2020 COP 15, held in China, through the development of an international roadmap which, primarily, sets up the objectives and principles for governments and organizations for mainstreaming biodiversity and ecological connectivity on transport infrastructure development. Additionally, it addresses the overall framework of stakeholders who must be engaged as key players in:
- launching proactive policies,
- establishing appropriate legal frameworks,
- supporting better planning,
- promoting multi-sector cooperation, and
- encouraging innovative science-based solutions.
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