Kosovo has officially joined IUCN, thereby entering a neutral forum in which governments, NGOs, Indigenous peoples' organisations, scientists, businesses, local communities, and others shape and implement solutions to environmental challenges together.
“IUCN extends its warm welcome to Kosovo as the newest State Member of our Union. We believe that this will enable us to further strengthen IUCN’s presence and work in Kosovo, nested in one of the richest regions in Europe in terms of biodiversity and natural values. We look forward to engaging with the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, experts, communities and civil society in achieving good governance in natural resources management,” said IUCN Director General Inger Andersen.
“We look forward to cooperation with IUCN, particularly on effective planning and management of protected areas, and development of sustainable conservation strategies that would embrace and promote global standards in nature conservation,” noted Fatmir Matoshi, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of Kosovo.
Although relatively small in size, Kosovo is distinguished by rich biodiversity and a high rate of endemism. In 2012, Kosovo doubled its protected area coverage, from about 4,36 to 11,5% of the territory. Most of the protected area territory falls within two big National Parks, “Sharri” and “Bjeshkët e Nemuna”. While significant progress has been achieved in terms of protected areas designation, quite some work should still be done when it comes to the inventory and conservation of rare and threatened species of flora and fauna. Furthermore, Kosovo faces similar threats to biodiversity as the rest of the region, including urbanization and infrastructure development, excessive use of natural resources and lack of law enforcement, to name a few.
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For more information please contact:
Constantine Makris, Membership Relations Officer (East Europe, North and Central Asia / West Europe), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ismail Hetemaj, Head of Nature Protection Division, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Kosovo, Email: email@example.com