Building capacities for conservation action project was opened by one-day seminar that shed light on key conservation policies and funding sources in Serbia and Montenegro, facilitating the dialogue between the donor community and potential recipients. It was organized by IUCN on 21 December in Belgrade, and gathered a multitude of state agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the field of nature conservation in Serbia and Montenegro.
H.E. Mr.Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia, opened the event talking about the importance environmental CSOs have in the process of social development, an issue with ever growing recognition in the region.
The seminar brought a series of interesting presentations. The general conclusion is that the networking of CSOs and state agencies could improve the quality and effectiveness of conservation action. However, capacities, skills and experience of CSOs and GOs have to be improved in order to be able to absorb the available funds and successfully implement conservation projects. Simultaneously, there was a strong voice for increased and diversified funding for conservation action that includes existing international support but also calls upon consolidated national environmental funds as well as the emergence of new donors such as the corporate sector. Continued funding by the Dutch Government - one of the biggest donors for conservation in the region is currently uncertain and the few companies with corporate responsibility strategies are mainly active globally, allocating little, if any, resources to Serbia and Montenegro. It should be recognized that a promising initiative by the government in Montenegro to support biodiversity protection has been slowly developing while national support for nature conservation organizations, other than state institutions, is still meager in Serbia.
“Once we make sure that the community is aware of benefits biodiversity is providing to our societies on a daily basis as well as the scale of our dependence on natural resources we may expect a tangible increase in financial resources allocated to conservation efforts”, says Mr. Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe.
The Seminar opened the Building capacities for conservation action project, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade. More information on grant schemes for the project support of the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade can be found on the embassy’s website www.norveska.org.rs.
For more information please contact Veronika Ferdinandova, Biodiversity Project Officer at IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe.