Green Infrastructure


South-East European Ecological Network (SEENET)

ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation started up a programme to facilitate the establishment of the Pan-European Ecological Network in South-East Europe and the Black Sea area. The main aim of this programme was to directly support the establishment of the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN) and especially to facilitate that South-East Europe, Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Turkey were fully involved in activities in support of PEEN and to promote that interests and considerations specific to these regions were taken into account in the work programme for protected areas and ecological networks of the CBD, the Bern Convention and the Habitat and Birds Directives. To achieve this, the programme took an integrative and multi-sectoral approach, aimed at involvement of all relevant stakeholder groups and specifically including non-conservation stakeholders. The programme particularly took into account the coastal and marine areas as well as terrestrial areas.


  • Promoting the ecological network concept, and PEEN in particular, among relevant actors and in relevant forums in the Balkans and the Black Sea area.
  • Initiating and supporting capacity-building programmes for governmental and non-governmental organizations in these regions.
  • Supporting organizations from the Balkans and the Black Sea area in successfully applying for funding for projects in support of ecological networks and PEEN.
  • Stimulating the involvement of other sectors, such as agriculture, transport, fisheries and spatial planning in discussions concerning ecological networks in general and PEEN in particular.
  • Stimulating and supporting discussions in the EU about connectivity and ecological networks; where appropriate, promoting interests of and considerations specific to the Balkans and the Black Sea area.
  • Supporting effective implementation of activities focusing on ecological networks under the CBD, the Environment for Europe process and the PEBLDS, while in particular promoting the interests and considerations of the Balkans and the Black Sea area.

Time frame

The programme ran during 2006 and 2007.


The programme team consisted of representatives of the three organizations most closely involved in the programme implementation:

  • ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation, the Netherlands;
  • Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC), the Netherlands;
  • Eurosite, the Netherlands.

A focus group was established consisting of experts on the different topics relevant to this programme, with preference going to experts from the countries targeted (i.e. Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Russian Federation), and representatives of organizations of stakeholders that are not adequately represented via the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts.

In order to avoid duplication of effort and the setting-up of unnecessary bodies and structures, the programme did not establish a steering group, but looked upon the existing Council of Europe - Committee of Experts for the Establishment of PEEN as its steering group. All targeted countries were represented in this group, and where necessary their active participation was stimulated and facilitated via this programme.


The programme was funded by the BBI Matra fund of the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The programme resulted in:

  • increased access to information on development in research, policy and funding concerning PEEN and ecological networks in general, through library, databases of stakeholder organizations and funding opportunities for the region, training materials and useful links via a dedicated website/clearing house:;
  • two training sessions/seminars addressing priority training needs in the region: funding and cross-sectoral cooperation;
  • resources to attend international meetings and events;
  • higher profile of the region in international forums and policy processes;
  • being part of a coordinated network of experts and policymakers;
  • increased participation of representatives from the targeted countries in international forums and meetings contributing to the establishment of PEEN;
  • increase in the extent to which the specific interests and considerations of the targeted region are taken into account in international policy processes and initiatives;
  • building of capacity in the targeted region in skills crucial to the successful establishment of PEEN (or ecological networks in general), such as financing and stakeholder involvement;
  • concrete steps towards the active involvement of non-conservation stakeholders in projects aiming towards the establishment of ecological networks in general and PEEN in particular.

Five sectoral brochures were produced discussing ecological networks in different economic sectors. These brochures can be downloaded on the right, as well as a brochure on stakeholder involvement in developing ecological networks.