14. 12. 2011.

Oliver Dulic: The Ministry has a good cooperation with NGOs

Oliver Dulic, Minister of Environment in Serbia

The Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Oliver Dulic, is pleased with the first steps that Serbia has made ​​regarding the implementation of EU legislation on nature protection. He is aware of the necessity for the NGO sector to work with governing institutions. This cooperation already exists, as he says, through common workshops and conferences.

Is there political will in Serbia for the implementation of EU legislation for nature protection? Above all, I think of Natura 2000? How is that political will reflected in practice?
- We have shown a clear political will to implement EU legislation. In addition to transposing EU directives into the legal framework of Serbia, in January 2010 the Twinning project "Strengthening of administrative capacities in Serbia Natura 2000" was initiated. This is how the establishment and development of the European Natura 2000 network in Serbia began. The first results of that project are visible, we have created the necessary working groups and included national professional and scientific community in the whole process.
The state working group for Natura 2000 implementation has been established. There is also a Council for Natura 2000. Would you involve NGOs in these bodies?
- The Ministry of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning includes different stakeholders in the process of preparing the Natura 2000 network in Serbia through various activities. Civil society organizations were present at workshops and conferences regarding Natura 2000. Representatives of the Ministry were present at meetings organized by NGOs. Bearing in mind that the process of establishing a Natura 2000 network has started, non-governmental organizations were involved from the very beginning and I believe they will actively participate.
Protected Areas
Are you satisfied with the cooperation with other sectors (agriculture, water management, forestry sector) on nature conservation and  preparations for the EU integration process?
- Without other sectors we wouldn’t be able to start such a great effort as establishment of the ecological network Natura 2000 is. There is intense and immediate cooperation of all of us. Without adjustment of all sectors it wouldn’t be possible to adopt a number of acts that are essential in preparation for EU accession.
In Serbia there are 43.3% of the species that inhabit Europe while only 5.86% of the area of ​​Serbia is protected. Will this percentage increase during your mandate?
- At the moment about 6 percent of the territory of Serbia is protected. As we announced, we are working actively to increase that percentage that is protected by the state. The adoption of several regulations – out of which some are in the final stage – is on-going. This will contribute to the declaration of new protected areas.
Are you familiar with activities of the project “Partnership Actions for Biodiversity Protection in Western Balkans”? If so, what is your opinion on that project?
- It is extremely important to strengthen the capacity of NGOs in the field of environmental protection, and this is what the mentioned project is about.
What is your message to NGOs dealing with nature?
The Ministry has a very good cooperation with NGOs. We invite them to continue with useful projects in the field of nature protection.

 Petra Boic Petrac, WWF

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