On the meeting held on 21 January, national nature conservation authorities from South-Eastern Europe have agreed on the first steps towards the joint conservation planning. This meeting, hosted at the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, initiated the trans-national exchange on topics of common concern, such as institutional training needs and experiences, and the specifics of national nature conservation systems in the region.
Welcoming the participants, Mr Aleksandar Dragisic, Director of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, stated that borders should not limit the work on nature conservation. “The regional approach initiated today will help us unify across the region, and offer support to those of us who are on the EU accession path”, Mr Dragisic added.
“Long consultation process led to this project, shaping the joint goals as well as its expected results”, said Mr Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe. “We will rapidly move from planning to action - combine the existing documents and assessments related to state of nature conservation in each country, and use them to plan action on the ground”, Mr Erg concluded.
The project initiates a process that will strengthen the implementation of conservation standards regionally. One of the first agreed steps is to assess the state of nature conservation systems in each country, and tailor a capacity building programme based on the identified gaps. The 'Big Win for Dinaric Arc' was introduced during the meeting as a regional process of relevance for conservation planning.