The South East Europe Biodiversity Task Force (BD TF) contributed to the First BIMR Regional Platform meeting on 29-30 May 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia aiming to build synergies to enhance cooperation for nature conservation and improved biodiversity information management in the region.
BD TF was represented by its members, Jelena Dučić from the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Serbia who briefly introduced the structure of the Task Force, its achievements to date and vision, Milena Bataković from the Environment and Nature Protection Agency of Montenegro, and Bruno Leles from the BD TF Secretariat hosted by IUCN’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The meeting offered an excellent networking opportunity as it gathered participants from Environmental Agencies and Ministries from the six SEE economies, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia and Republic of North Macedonia.
“Increased collaboration with BD TF in relation to biodiversity information management and reporting (BIMR) can result in its stronger political profile and facilitate strategic planning of regional activities as well as their harmonization with the requirements of EU acquis (EU HD, BD, INSPIRE),” said Azra Velagić-Hajrudinović, BIMR Project Manager of GIZ Open Regional Fund for South East Europe - Biodiversity (GIZ/ORF BD).
“The cooperation between DiSSCo Research Infrastructure and the South East Europe Biodiversity Task Force could enhance cross-sectoral research, efficient knowledge-sharing and data-driven decision-making processes - the only effective pathways towards sustainable growth,” highlighted Eva Alonso from DiSSCo Research Infrastructure – a pan-European initiative gathering 21 countries. "Our Natural Science Collections provide the taxonomic backbone for transdisciplinary research and are key elements to respond to the global societal challenges of our time. Collections preserved in the Balkans constitute the most precious testimony of its biodiversity richness and a unique source of multiple data sets,” she added.
BDTF Phase II is supported by the German organization for international cooperation - Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Biodiversity (GIZ/ORF BD), funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ).
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence