Maintenance of roads and biodiversity at the ICOET conference in America

The International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET) was held in Raleigh (North Carolina, United States) from 20 to 24 September, and brought together experts from around the world. Carme Rosell, from MINUARTIA, gave a presentation entitled Enhancing Wildlife Conservation in Road Corridors by Applying Best Maintenance Practices, which summarized the results of an analysis of road maintenance practices and their effects on biodiversity and road safety in 11 European countries. On the basis of this information, a handbook of good practices is being drawn up that will reduce the risk of accidents caused by wildlife and the impacts on conservation and biodiversity.

The presentation was prepared in conjunction with other partners from the SAFEROAD European project, funded by the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR), and involving the participation of MINUARTIA and teams from a further seven European countries.

The main theme of the ICOET conference, which is held every two years, was resilience. The capacity to face the effects of climate change was analysed in relation to ecology and transport, taking into account that the proposed solutions involve working cooperatively, from a global perspective, with applications at local scale. A visit to the roads that cross the fragile landscapes of dunes and wetlands in the Outer Banks led to an analysis of how we can face the challenge of hurricanes, which are increasingly frequent, damaging the road network in the area.

At the conference, the latest advances in the prevention of wildlife risks on roads were presented, as well as fences to stop wildlife from affecting the entire lifecycle of the road, and other innovations in ecology and transport.