Based on the outcomes of these two meetings, a preliminary focus for the IUCN office in South Eastern Europe was set on:

  1. transboundary protected areas; and
  2. raising the profile of biodiversity conservation on the regional and international policy agenda
As the result of the above mentioned efforts and upon consolidated request of members from the region, the IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe was established in 2004 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Based on its constituency in SEE and supported by other IUCN Offices the IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe is implementing the European Programme and its main purpose: Saving Biodiversity by implementing the “Strategy for Conservation without Frontiers in SEE”. Based on its main initiatives, the Countdown 2010 and the European Greenbelt, IUCN is focussing on transboundary cooperation of stakeholders and beneficiaries from state authorities as well as the civil society towards development in SEE based on sustainable use of natural resources an integrated biodiversity conservation.

In cooperation with international partner organisations such Euronatur, FAO, UNESCO, UNDP, UNEP, WWF and others, IUCN is striving to achieve its central goals for IUCN in the Balkans to:
  • Improve the network of protected areas in the region and expand protected areas coverage in relation to global coverage;
  • Ensure the effective management of protected areas; Improve the information flow on biodiversity projects and key stakeholders, including an overview of state of implementation of Aarhus convention; and
  • Create a joint regional understanding and co-operation of the IUCN members to ensure the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage and to foster a better international image.