Good cooperation between the protected area and the local population guarantees success

Good cooperation of the local community with the management of a protected area is essential for the good business performance of all the parks. As such good cooperation is precisely one of the main goals of the "Protected areas for nature and people", the training of assessors who will work in the coming months with protected areas in the region, was held in Zagreb from 24 to 26 January.

"On the basis of this assessment we will define the needs according to which we will educate officers of the protected areas for better cooperation with the local community. In Zagreb gathered 25 experts who have expressed their desire to be our assessors, so they were trained with the supported of a team of consultants from the UK, Slovenia and Serbia, for the implementation of the assessment of cooperation of protected areas and local communities ", points out Leon Kebe, leader of the program "Protected areas for nature and people" in the WWF Adria.

The assessment will be carried out in more than 70 protected areas of the Dinaric Arc. Assessors are coming from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo *, Albania and Macedonia, and they were selected through competition published by WWF Adria and Parks Dinarides - network of protected areas of Dinarides. During the next two months they will collect information on the current level of cooperation between protected areas and local communities. Examples of good practice have shown that through the partnership and cooperation of the local population and the park greater economic, environmental and social gain is achieved.

 "In the framework of the project two questionnaires have been prepared: for the collection of data from the perspective of protected areas and for collection of data from the perspective of local communities. It is foreseen that each protected area fills in one questionnaire, while the representatives of the local community will fill in from 5 to 10 questionnaires", explained Violeta Orlovic Lovren, one of the consultants. With the help of the questionnaire the project team will analyze cooperation and identify examples of good practice. After analysis, the results will be evaluated with a view to the preparation and implementation of the plan with clear recommendations for future cooperation.