16. 07. 2010.
“Strengthening the Capacity of Governments and Civil Sector in Serbia and Montenegro to Adapt to EU Nature Protection Acquis”
The project “Strengthening the Capacity of Governments and Civil Sector in Serbia and in Montenegro to adapt to EU Nature Protection Acquis” is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led by WWF Mediterranean, together with Young Researchers of Serbia and Green Home (Montenegro). The project started in 2009 and lasts until the end of 2011.
The main objective is to strengthen capacity of governments, expert institutions and NGOs in Montenegro and Serbia. The project team focuses on four objectives: technical support for implementation of the EU Habitat Directive in Montenegro; helping NGOs to create and maintain NGO networks that would support Natura 2000 activities in both countries; helping governmental sectors in both countries to understand EU nature conservation policy; and bringing information and knowledge from Brussels into the region and vice versa.
The project team helped establishing two NGO networks that have already efficiently applied for co-financing of new projects under funds through the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
Natura 2000 experts from relevant ministries and State Institutes for Nature Protection from Slovenia and Croatia took part in exchange visits to Serbia and to Montenegro. The goal of their mission was to share experiences with project partners and future stakeholders in the process of implementation of EU legislation, and about the Natura 2000 network in general.
About 120 people from different sectors touched by the Natura 2000 process were involved in these exchange visits where the project team helped them understand requirements and responsibilities that the EU brings both during the accession period and once membership has been completed. Slovenia already has Natura 2000, and Croatia has finished the initial phase of implementation, so the experiences of experts from those countries will help their colleagues in Serbia and Montenegro to interact with relevant ministries, institutes and NGOs.
How to reach the government, to get their trust and to become a reliable partner might be the biggest challenge for this project team, as well as the fact that they need to urge both countries to be ready to face many difficulties that might occur because of infrastructural interventions on possible Natura 2000 sites.
In the forthcoming period they will work on capacity-building of key sectors – such as water management, forestry, agriculture – that will, together with nature protection, be responsible for implementation of the EU Habitats and Birds Directive through management and monitoring of the Natura 2000 network.
Acquis - rights and obligations EU countries share, to which pre-accession countries must adopt their national legislation