Rodney van der Ree

Rodney van der Ree

Abstract 1| Mitigating the ecological impacts of transportation infrastructure – A compilation of global case studies

One of the greatest challenges in planning and designing roads, railways and other linear infrastructure is that there is no single book containing mitigation knowledge and experience. Consequently, many engineers, planners and project managers are still unaware of the accumulated knowledge and experience that the ‘road ecology’ community has amassed through research and experience.

To address this, I am proposing to edit an open access book that brings together case studies of mitigation from around the world in an accessible style and format. Ideally, each case study will:

  • Be co-authored by an ecologist and a designer and/or engineer who were both involved in the project
  • Include things that worked as well as those that didn’t - because failures are just as important as success!
  • Be written for ecologists, engineers, planners, landscape architects and project managers, etc. Importantly, the book will include:
    • Case studies that are geographically and taxonomically diverse
    • Be widely sourced from all continents
    • A companion website with a rich diversity of supplementary material, such as videos, photos, project plans and reports to enhance the reader experience. This book will be published as an open access E-book, so that everyone, everywhere, can access it at anytime, for free! There are two invitations
  1. Content: Do you know of any mitigation projects that must be highlighted in this book? Maybe it is yours and you would like to write it, or maybe it is one you know of.
  2. Funding: High-quality open-access books are free to read, but are expensive to produce. There are two potential funding models I am pursuing:
    • If the chapter authors have sufficient financial support, they pay a modest publication fee;
    • Sponsorship from road agencies, development banks, private companies, NGOs or philanthropic sources to fund the whole project or in part.

If you are interested in being involved as an author, funder or eventual reader, please email me at

Abstract 2 | Crossing borders in policy and regulations for greener transport infrastructure

Road and rail systems provide important connections for the movement of goods and people that can improve the quality of people’s lives; at the same time these transportation systems can disconnect ecosystem functions, sever wildlife movement and increase wildlife and human injury and mortality.

A new global opportunity has arrived to influence the guidance for transport policies and practices that result in infrastructure that is more sensitive to the needs of wildlife and ecological processes.

In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched the Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG) under its World Commission on Protected Areas. The CCSG has been charged with developing a new type of conservation area that the world’s governments can adopt – Connectivity Conservation Area (CCA).

Draft CCA guidelines are being developed that include such items as criteria for establishment, typology, governance, management, etc. These guidelines will enter a consultation process with the world's governments in 2018. After emerging from consultation, it is hoped the CCAs will be adopted to link protected areas, such as national parks and wilderness areas, into ecological networks.

There was a need identified to assure CCAs will be sensitive to the adverse impacts of roads and rails. Thus, a Transport Working Group (TWG) has been formed to advise and provide direction regarding transportation infrastructure so it avoids, minimizes and/or mitigates impacts to wildlife movement and mortality within CCAs.

The TWG is seeking interested individuals to help develop practical transport system guidance so CCAs accommodate natural, political, and cultural variation in both developing and developed countries. The TWG will build on existing relevant documents advanced by countries or entities regarding wildlife sensitive infrastructure and create specific guidance useful for protecting CCAs.

This presentation will discuss the CCSG's and TWG's progress along with a call for interested individuals to join.

Bio | Rodney van der Ree

Rodney van der Ree is the Director of Ecology and Infrastructure International Pty Ltd – a research and consultancy company focussing on the interactions between ecology and built infrastructure, such as roads, railways and cities. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of BioSciences at The University of Melbourne where he undertakes applied ecological research and student supervision. Rodney is recognised internationally as an expert on the ecology of linear infrastructure, such as roads, railways and utility easements and has presented the results of his research in plenary lectures and invited seminars across Australia and in Europe, USA, South Africa, and Asia, including India, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan. He consults widely with industry, government and NGOs, including with all levels of Government in Australia, the European Union and elsewhere. Rodney co-founded the Australasian Network for Ecology and Transportation ( and edited the international award-winning 62-chapter “Handbook of Road Ecology”, with over 100 authors from 25 countries. Rodney has authored or co-authored over 70 refereed publications, 80 reports or popular articles, 100 conference presentations or public lectures and >30 media appearances.