Photographer: Alex Kemman
Title: Green Veins of Europe: Ecocorridors & the European Green Deal
Location: Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy
Period: 08/2020 - 01/2021
Category: Solutions

From red deer traces and half wild horses, to fallen trees and tree plantations, till mountain ranges and free flowing rivers. They have something in common: these are the roads and routes that nature uses. Looking at the map, ecocorridors look like veins connecting the whole European continent, and as such are somehow the opposite of highways by enhancing mobility for flora and fauna.

With the upcoming Green Deal, ecocorridors (the connections between national parks and wild territories) have become of increased interest. The European Green Deal is the most ambitious plan in the history of the EU and will change the face of the continent irrevocable. At least 1000 billion of euros will be made available to invest. Ecocorridors form a key point in the Biodiversity strategy 2030. Environmental experts argue that these connections are essential to lower CO2 emissions and to strengthen biodiversity.

What do ecocorridors look like?

This project investigates and follows an ecocorridor from the Netherlands to Italy. Through an in-depth series of photos ‘Green Veins of Europe’ tells several local stories of the respective five countries that sometimes show harmony between humans and nature, and sometimes show friction. Essentially investigating how the future of our fragmented continent may look like and what role EU policy making may play in this.

Sheep can strengthen biodiversity by eating specific plants allowing room for different species The herd itself also forms an ecological connection because small bugs spores and seeds are transported through the fur Epe Netherlands

Originally this forest did not have pine trees When woodcutting stopped the conifers fell by storm creating the opportunity for deciduous trees to grow back and making the forest more biodiverse Vallombrosa Italy

A lynchet a trace of pre-industrial farming practices allows rodents to hide and move themselves Epe Netherlands

Squirrel bridge over the highway A12 Netherlands

Semi-wild horses at the Waal river This part of the river has been restorated to its natural course so that it can flood and flow freely Rivers in itself form ecocorridors Nijmegen Netherlands

Camargue horses semi wild horses are a natural way of managing and diversifying land due to their grazing and trail patterns Camargue France

Forest plantation to diversify the forest and lessening the number of pine trees In turn creating ecocorridors between France and Germany Palatinate forest Germany br

Ecoduct that shows different types of trails for different animals In some cases ecoducts are opposed by farmers as the increased connectivity can also mean that animals eat their crops A8 France

Foothills of the Apennines The Apennines form one large natural ecocorridor from North to Southern Italy Prato Italy

This artificial canal is of ecological importance due to a natural helophyte filter bacteria in sand and reed roots besides at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers many bird species rest on their migratory routes Avignon France

Fish passage at the Rhine river The many dams on the Rhine stopped salmon and other migratory fish from travelling to their spawning areas With the fish ladder the fish can swim upstream Gambsheim border of Germany and France

Bat bridge Neronde France