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Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Local Sustainable Development in the Western Balkans

The 1st Steering Committee’s Meeting of the Project “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Local Sustainable Development in the Western Balkans” was held on 18 May 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia.

The project will be implemented by European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) in cooperation with Regional Environmental Center (REC) and its offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo.

The overall goal of the project is to promote a comprehensive and integrated approach to biodiversity and ecosystem services for the sustainable development of rural municipalities and their local communities in the Western Balkans

The specific goals would be:

  • To identify local stakeholders in the selected municipalities;
  • To train them in relation to preparation of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (hereinafter: the LBAP);
  • To allocate 20.000 € per selected municipality for the implementation of some of actions from the LBAPs.

The project will be implemented in following 10 municipalities:

* Drina river sub-basin: Bajina Basta (Serbia), Cajetina (Serbia), Foca /Srbinje (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Pljevlja (Montenegro), Srebrnica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Zabljak (Montenegro);

* Drim river sub-basin: Dragas (Kosovo - UNSCR 1244), Mavrovo (Macedonia), Peshopi /Diber (Albania), and Prizren (Kosovo - UNSCR 1244).

The Steering Committee’s role will be to oversee the implementation of the project, to advise on ensuring linkages to relevant international biodiversity policy targets, to bring together expertise in the Western Balkans and international community, and to discuss over dissemination of the results of the project towards international and national biodiversity and cross-sector stakeholders.

The SC will be consist of representatives of the national governments of the target countries, ECNC’s Scientific Council, REC, ICLEI, the Countdown 2010 Secretariat, Finnish Government, Council of Europe and NALAS.

Mr. Rob Wolters, Executive Director of ECNC, highlighted NALAS role in the Steering Committee. He implied possibility of closer collaboration and day-to-day activities with NALAS as representative of local interest in the Western Balkans in relation to biodiversity, ecosystem and other nature related issues. 

NALAS was represented at this meeting by Ms Sanja Zivkovic, who also prepared this report.