A bioregion requires to be large enough to accommodate migratory patterns, natural time cycles and absorb global change factors. Scale is necessary to iencorporate ecosystem functions and processes necessary for biotic communities and populations to function over the longer term. Further, a bioregion must be able to successfully incorporate core biodiversity sites (protected areas), wilderness areas, access corridors, mixed use land areas and human settlement areas within a single integrated geographic scheme.
Bioregionalism is essentially a community "bottom up" approach to ecological management and sustainable development where the aim is to find a balance between the resident community's need for livelihoods and the potential of natural resources in the bioregion, within ecological, economic and social terms.
The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy is now for the first time applying the ecological network model to the continental scale through the establishment of the Pan-European Ecological Network. The participating states have agreed that the network should be established by 2005 and that it will ensure that: a) a full range of ecosystems, habitats, species and landscapes of European importance are conserved; b) the habitats are large enough to enable species to be conserved; c) there are sufficient opportunities for species to disperse and migrate; d) damaged parts of the key environmental systems are restored; and e) the key environmental systems are buffered from potential threats. The Pan-European Ecological Network will be built up from core areas, corridors and buffer zones. Restoration areas will be identified where it will be necessary to improve the ecological status of parts of the potential network.