The outcomes of the recently held IUCN World Conservation Congress are spreading through the region from Budva, where nature conservation officials are meeting. Besides the discussions about the regional cooperation and exchange of ideas on joint nature conservation priorities, the participants learned about the new global initiatives that aim to convert 2015 global agreements for sustainable future into concrete actions.
The 3rd annual meeting of senior officials took place on 20 and 21 October, organized by IUCN and under the auspices of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro. Opening the meeting, Ivana Vojinovic, General Director of the Ministry's Directorate for Environment said that over 12% of Montenegro's territory is protected; the country is activating all the available mechanisms for biodiversity conservation. „Relying on a number of signed and ratified international agreements and on its EU accession path, Montenegro has just initiated the work on the National Strategy for transposition, implementation and enforcement of Environmental and Climate change legislation within the Action plan 2016-2020 and the implementation of the IPA project for Natura 2000 establishment,“ concluded Vojinovic.
The participants were introduced to the new global standards in nature protection launched at the 2016 IUCN Congress, including:
- IUCN Red List of Ecosystems that will assess the status of ecosystems – to inform us where and how we can act to secure our future;
- Nature based solutions, that can help the societies prepare, cope and recover from natural disasters (including the low intensity events such as famines);
- IUCN Green List of Protected Areas, aiming to reward and promote the successfull protected area management;
- Key biodiversity areas that will identify the sites of significance for biodiversity protection;
- #NatureForAll, a global movement aiming to inspire the new generations to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation.
„Nature conservation and human progress are not mutually exclusive, I believe that the cooperation and joint conservation goals are key for the future of our region,“ said Boris Erg, Director of IUCN’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. „New IUCN conservation standards will lead us on this path, that starts today in Budva,“ Erg concluded.
The first day of the meeting ended with a strong commintment to continue the regional cooperation and maintain the platform created through the project. Countries proposed to address regional priorities through the creation of thematic working groups on ecosystem services and biodiversity data.
On the second day of the meeting the group visited the Ulcinj Salina, the first Important Bird Area (IBA) in Montenegro and an Emerald site under the Bern convention. The Salina is of great international importance as almost half of the nesting pairs of water bird species of the whole region nest here. The Ulcin Salina deserves protection and the appropriate management measures, as the participants learned on the ground.
This two-days meeting was organized in the frame of the project Conservation planning in South-Eastern Europe, funded by the MAVA Foundation.