Nature is a resource for people and our well-being. Countries in South East Europe, like elsewhere, have the opportunity to shape a sustainable future where economies grow while protecting natural resources. Will they win the challenge?
IUCN Members in South East Europe are meeting this week to define the cornerstones of future nature conservation in the region. The meeting is taking place in Tirana, Albania, where IUCN is currently engaged in a project to identify the best ways to manage nature for people’s benefit in two protected sites.
Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe said “Countries in South East Europe have a tremendous opportunity to show the way for sustainable development. IUCN supports the efforts of its Members and the governments in the region to advance nature conservation while encouraging cross-border cooperation. We are very glad that this event on future directions for nature conservation takes place in Albania. Albania's economic development can go hand in hand with nature conservation and IUCN stands ready to support this process.”
Conserving nature and the resources it provides would be possible only if scientists and policy-makers join their forces. The support of policy-makers in translating science into policy is essential and this is why IUCN works very closely with the Ministry of the Environment in Albania.
At the event, the Minister of Environment of Albania, Mr Fatmir Mediu, called for continued cooperation between science and policy “Appreciating the IUCN initiative on the organization of this regional meeting, I believe we should use this opportunity to jointly decide to have a clear long term cooperation between the countries and IUCN and other donors for the preparation and implementation of projects in the future.”
The meeting of IUCN Members in South East Europe will result in a new strategic document defining the mid-term priorities for IUCN’s work in the region. More than 80 people attended the first day of the event, including numerous local journalists.