12. 07. 2012.

Minister Predrag Sekulić: Montenegro is preparing the project of establishing Natura 2000 network

Minister Predrag Sekulić
As part of the "Natura 2000 in Montenegro and Serbia" project, a small team has been trained to map the terrain according to the requirements of the EU as a major step forward compared to the previous period. Additionally, formed network of nongovernmental organizations will be a great ally for us in the future in order to establish Natura 2000 network, said minister Sekulić.

How much are you familiar with the Montenegro preparation for the ecological network Natura 2000? What these preparations mean for Montenegro?

Montenegro as a candidate country for EU membership is required to transpose and implement EU legislation in the field of nature protection, especially the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive. As a result of implementing these two directives, there will be established a functional Natura 2000 network of important areas in Montenegro.

Of course, a preparation for the establishment of the Natura 2000 network includes the engagement of all available technical and financial resources and excellent inter-agency coordination on which the Ministry is actively working. I think that Montenegro, having in mind the richness and diversity, but also a degree of conservation of biodiversity, can significantly contribute to European biodiversity, once the European Ecological Network of protected areas is established in our country.

The project “Strengthening the capacity of governments and civil sector in Serbia and in Montenegro to adapt to EU nature protection aquis“, in short - "Natura 2000 in Serbia and in Montenegro ", contributed to the technical preparation of Montenegro for Natura 2000. How will Montenegro use the results of this project?

That project gave significant contribution to the process of establishment of Natura 2000 network in Montenegro. In the past three and a half years, the ministry has implemented the project in collaboration with WWF, the Institute for Nature Protection, NGOs Green Home and Young Researchers of Serbia, with great support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, for which we are very grateful.

The third phase of this project, made significant progress in the preparation of Montenegro for fully membership in the EU. The results are good basis for further work on the implementation of the Habitats Directive. A small team is trained for mapping on the field, according to the requirements of EU, which is major step forward compared to the previous period. In addition, formed network of nongovernmental organizations will be a great ally in the future, in the way of establishment Natura 2000 network. As a reminder, it's important to say that the Ministry singed Memorandum of collaboration with Natura 2000 Info Centre NGO network in order to strengthen cooperation for the establishment of this ecological network.

What are the next steps for Montenegro in preparation for Natura 2000?

Important achievement of Natura 2000 team during this project is the fact that the catalogue of habitat is supplemented with 16 new habitat types, and work on that catalogue will be one of the challenges for us in the future. Catalogue of habitats is the first step that leads us towards full implementation of the Habitats Directive.

Regarding to this, Montenegro has taken actions to prepare project proposals whose objectives will be establishment of Natura 2000 network of important areas. Results of WWF's project are good foundation that we must continue to upgrade in order to achieve our obligations on the EU path.

Where do you see possible cooperation of Montenegro with the WWF?

As a part of the Ninth Conference of the Parties of Convention on Biological Diversity in the ministerial segment , WWF has organized an event called “Big Win'' initiative in which the Dinaric Arc countries have presented their priorities and have signed the initiative.

Therefore, I see further cooperation through support of: establishing a management structure and developing management plans for the National Park Prokletije, implementation of transboundary protected area which will link the National Park Durmitor and National Park Sutjeska, developing of sustainable indicators for the National Parks and foremost complementing the existing databases in a GIS system for Natura 2000.

Petra Boić Petrač, WWF Mediterranean Programme
 Director of WWF Norway Nina Jensen with minister Predrag Sekulić

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