The accession to EU is not a smooth process for Western Balkan countries, but a long journey with a number of challenges on the way. The process includes synchronization of the national legislation with the EU one, ensuring its implementation by introducing new acts at national level, genuine involvement of all stakeholders in the process of decision-making, improvement of regional cooperation etc. Additionally, raising awareness and capacity building for the implementation of the EU policies and strategies are of the utmost importance for a successful accession process. Current IUCN’s project focuses on three EU policy areas which have a great impact on nature conservation, while geographically covering three Western Balkan countries: FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
Project activities are focusing on three pilot sites to simulate the implementation of the EU policies in the targeted countries, and include:
- Situation and stakeholders’ analysis of the state of development of the most important nature-related EU policies and needed preconditions for their successful implementation. The analysis will be used for preparation of case studies focusing on sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity conservation.
- Three workshops focusing on implementation of the EU environmental policies, with special regard to conservation and sound use of natural resources, aiming at transferring knowledge from the EU to the region.
- Elaboration and dissemination of training materials with focus on the EU best conservation and sustainable rural development practices. Materials will be used for training of local experts on the process of designation of Natura 2000 sites and sound management of natural resources as well as development of projects for IPARD.
- Study tours for NGOs and stakeholders from pilot sites that will exemplify good practices on nature conservation and rural development in the region.
- Increased capacities of NGOs in FYROM, MNE and SER on the process of implementation of the EU environmental policies and strategies.
- Strengthened cooperation between environmental NGOs in selected countries and improved dialogue between NGOs and Governmental institutions
- Elaborated case studies for three pilot sites in FYROM, MNE and SER.
- Developed materials in English and native languages to support the training process.
- Trained trainers to enable local experts to transfer knowledge on best practices in conservation and sustainable rural development transferred from the EU to the region.