11 NGOs in Serbia and 6 NGOs in Montenegro are developing projects on biodiversity and Natura 2000
In the framework of the IPA project „Partnership Actions for Biodiversity Protection in Western Balkans“, which is carried out by Young Researchers of Serbia, WWF Mediterranean Programme, Green Home and Sunce, there are actions in the form of small projects for other non-governmental organizations, members of the network "Natura 2000 resource center Serbia” and "Natura2000 infocenter" from Montenegro.
The project team received 29 project proposals in Serbia, and 8 in Montenegro. In Serbia 11 projects were chosen while in Montenegro six. The results of all projects will be presented at the final workshop of the project "Partnership Actions", scheduled for November this year. The project team intends to present them through a small exhibition. We will also display the first documentary on Natura 2000 in Serbia, which will be prepared within the small grant given to NGO “Centar za inovativne aktivnosti (CINA)”.
The advantage of using resources of other NGOs were recognized by NGOs from Vojvodina: : “Akademsko drustvo za proucavanje i zastitu prirode”, “Drustvо zа zаstitu i prоucаvаnjе ptica Vojvodine“, “Drustvо zа zаstitu i prоucаvаnjе ribа“ and “Protego“. They have created a joint project "Natura 2000 in Serbia: Challenges and Opportunities ". As a result, members of the network will be richer for two very valuable publications: "Steps towards Natura 2000 in Serbia", which will describe the natural resources of Serbia as well as everything about Natura 2000, and "Ideas for the NGO's for specific actions to improve biodiversity " written by Dr. Gabor Mesaros. They will present their publications, as well as a poster "Natura 2000 in Serbia", at several workshops. They will present Natura 2000 to decision makers - from the city authorities to land owners on potential Natura 2000 sites.
Two valuable publications will be prepared by NGO “Eko-Centar”. These are CEEweb publications "Why Does Biodiversity Loss Matter? Answers for Ministers and Children" and "Services of nature - How Natura 2000 contributes to the provision of ecosystem services for human wellbeing. "
The project of NGO “Avalon” is focused on IBA areas. It will try to actualize the importance of IBA and Natura 2000 sites, as well as energy efficiency in public and among professionals. The project team will organize the eco-team that will carry out preparatory activities for the initiation of NATURA 2000 in South-eastern Banat, on the basis of visits to habitats twice a month. They will make a video that will be included in the already mentioned film about Natura 2000. Within this project there will be a central event "Natura 2000 ", scheduled for 5th June in Vrsac.
NGO “Stara Planina” devoted its project to environmental education for children. Under the name "Stara Planina - biodiversity or tourism, that is the question" the project aims to broaden awareness on the need for environmental protection and the introduction of sustainable development program in accordance with the provisions of the Natura 2000 network and the EU directives. The main goal is that young people from the Municipality of Pirot get acquainted with the value of protected natural areas. NGO “UNECO” is preparing a project "Sustainable management of private forests" with the aim of reducing the devastation of forest ecosystems and to increase energy efficiency in rural areas. With a variety of studies, workshops and round tables, they will also prepare and set the "Energy calculator”. NGO “Mladen Karaman” from Kragujevac is preparing a project on the promotion of ex situ protection as a method in the process of preserving and improving biodiversity.
The only project that has already been done in Serbia was prepared by the NGO “Prostor”, with activities related to Earth Hour. Earth Hour was held on 26 March, and they have already completed their project. Other NGOs are just beginning with activities and will develop them in the next five months.
As far as Montenegro is concerned consultation was completed 7 weeks ago, so some NGOs have already finished a good part of the job. NGO “Priroda”, while intending to make a project related to Earth Hour, has decided to concentrate on related activities, as the motto of this year's Earth Hour was to go "Beyond the Hour." The main goal is that energy efficiency, climate change and negative impacts on nature are always considered, not just for that one hour of the year.
“Ekolosko drustvo Breznica” from Pljevlje is preparing a project "Initiative for protection of biodiversity of forest park Savina in Herceg Novi”. As Savina Forest Park is currently devastated, but due to being exceptionally rich in biodiversity, it deserves to become a Natura2000 area. The NGO Breznica will try to make a case for a Natura site at future round tables. “Centar za zastitu i proucavanje ptica Crne Gore” is working on the project "Wings over Montenegro - birds as indicators of the quality of nature protection", which includes various activities such as making and placing hummingbird feeders, organized bird watching, various lectures, all with the aim of acquainting the public with the EU Bird Directive and its main provisions - the need to protect birds in all places and at all times, and the popularization of Montenegro as a bird watching destination.
NGO “Green.Me” is preparing a project "SOS-Save Our Sea" whose main goal is to educate the public along the whole Montenegrin coast on the importance of biodiversity and negative impacts of its imbalance (using the example of the spread of algae Caulerpa racemosa). They will produce a brochure involving different associations and institutions dealing with the sea and its protection, which would also strengthen cooperation between associations and institutions. NGO “OZON” from Niksic is preparing a project that would highlight the importance of Golija as the important area that should be nominated for Natura 2000, while the “Drustvo mladih ekologa Niksic” is working on the project “Promotion of protected areas and NATURA 2000 network in Montenegro", mostly through photos of inaccessible areas, which could one day be the Natura 2000 sites.
All the NGOs in both countries will complete their projects by the end of October 2011 in order to present them at the exhibition in Belgrade in November.
Petra Boic Petrac, WWF