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The main funding instrument for implementing EU policies on nature conservation and supporting environmental and climate action is the LIFE Nature programme, established by the European Commission in 1992. LIFE Nature projects >1400 awarded are applied conservation projects in which partnerships between institutions are critical for successful conservation outcomes, yet little is known about the structure of collaborative networks within and between EU countries. The aim of our study is to understand the nature of collaboration in LIFE Nature projects using a novel application of social network theory at two levels: 1 collaboration between countries, and 2 collaboration within countries using six case studies: Western Europe United Kingdom and Netherlands, Eastern Europe Romania and Latvia and Southern Europe Greece and Portugal. Using data on 1261 projects financed between 1996 and 2013, we found that Italy was the most successful country not only in terms of awarded number of projects, but also in terms of overall influence being by far the most influent country in the European LIFE Nature network, having the highest eigenvector 0.989 and degree centrality 0.177. Another key player in the network is Netherlands, which ensures a fast communication flow with other network members closeness—0.318 by staying connected with the most active countries. Although Western European countries have higher centrality scores than most of the Eastern European countries, our results showed that overall there is a lower tendency to create partnerships between different organization categories. Also, the comparisons of the six case studies indicates significant differences in regards to the pattern of creating partnerships, providing valuable information on collaboration on EU nature conservation. This study represents a starting point in predicting the formation of future partnerships within LIFE Nature programme, suggesting ways to improve transnational cooperation and communication.



Autor: Andreea Nita , Laurentiu Rozylowicz , Steluta Manolache, Cristiana Maria Ciocănea, Iulia Viorica Miu, Viorel Dan Popescu

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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