12. 07. 2012.

Natura 2000 in Serbia and in Montenegro

NP Djerdap (c) Boris Erg
After three and a half years of the project “Strengthening the capacity of governments and civil sector in Serbia and in Montenegro to adapt to EU nature protection aquis“, WWF, together with partner organizations, laid the foundation for the establishment of ecological network Natura 2000 in Serbia and Montenegro.

Considering the fact that an important part of European biodiversity is located in the Dinaric Arc region, expansion of Natura 2000 in Central and Eastern Europe is extremely important for achieving EU objectives on biodiversity.

WWF, the global non-governmental organization for nature protection, in partnership with the NGO Green Home from Montenegro, Young Researchers of Serbia and the Institute for Applied ecology in Slovakia-Daphne, carried out the project “Strengthening the capacity of governments and civil sector in Serbia and in Montenegro to adapt to EU nature protection aquis“.The objective was to prepare Serbia and Montenegro for entering into the European Union and in that direction help them to adapt and improve their management of current and future protected areas and preserve their natural resources.

The project goal was to assist these countries in adapting the application of EU regulations concerning the nature protection. Following results were achieved:

- two NGO networks are established (Natura 2000 Resource Center Serbia and Natura 2000 Information Centre of Montenegro) consisting of 92 NGOs;

- more than 200 people participated in professional exchanges; 7 training sessions were held on topics related to the fundamentals of EU legislation and the Natura 2000 network, in which participants learned about future Natura 2000 network areas, how to improve water management according to the Water Framework Directive, and about integration requirements of Natura 2000 in other sectors

Key governmental sectors in Montenegro and Serbia now understand the importance and necessity of mutual cooperation on issues of Natura 2000 much better.

The NGO sector has been actively involved in drafting legislation which are integrating EU regulations into national legislation. Representatives of the Natura 2000 network in Montenegro are included in working group for preparation of negotiations with the European Commission. In short, the NGO sector is mobilized to preserve the natural capital that is threatened by inadequate investment and poorly planned development of infrastructure.

It is also important to emphasize that the institutions in Montenegro established a functional Natura 2000 database about species and habitats with mapped, updated and field-verified data. Catalog of important European habitats present in Montenegro has been prepared.

Serbia and Montenegro are maximizing their efforts to become a part of the European ecological network. Long-term and effective cooperation in the Western Balkans proved to be possible with excellent results.

The project was financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway in order to protect the amazing biodiversity of the Western Balkans, which wants to preserve for future generations. The investments of the Norwegian Government in protecting the biodiversity of this region will continue also after the completion of this project.

More about the project “Strengthening the capacity of governments and civil sector in Serbia and in Montenegro to adapt to EU nature protection aquis“ read on the pages croatia.panda.org where a report with all results can be downloaded.

Martina Šubašić, WWF Mediterranean Programme

Skadar lake (c) Nataša Kovačević

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