Fifth General assembly of Parks Dinarides network has been held
Fifth General Assembly of Parks Dinarides and annual network meeting had been held in Nature Park Blidinje in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 28 and 29 May 2019. The event gathered over 60 participants, network members, and represents of Protected Areas in Dinarides area.
Network members, through the presentations and discussions, were introduced to current activities on development of index inclusion of local population, as well as with the second cycle of indexation, which Parks Dinarides, as a part of that process, are currently implementing in 25 protected areas. Results of Grant Program for Protected Areas, that have been recently completed, was presented and proved to be an effective mechanism for improving communication and cooperation between protected areas and local population.
Special topic of the event was the initiative for establishment of the Day of Dinarides Protection. The initiative was supported by members and it was decided to be 7 October, the date when the letter of intention to establish Parks of Dinarides was signed in 2014, thus to be declared as the Day of Parks Dinarides Protection. The goal of establishing Day of Parks Dinarides Protection is to promote the uniqueness and interweaving of natural resources and cultural and historical contents of this, in many ways a special area, as well as improvement of natural values in this area.
The Steering Committee and the Assembly also accepted three new members, the Special Nature Reserve of Zasavica and the Nature Park of Tikvara from Serbia, as well as National Park Kozara from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which expanded Parks Dinarides network and now it has a total of 95 protected areas from eight countries in the region. In addition to the expansion of the network, the Assembly of Parks Dinarides adopted the Annual Work Report and Financial Report of Parks Dinarides for 2018, as well as Annual Work Plan for 2019.
President of Steering Committee of Parks Dinarides and Director of National Park Una, Amarildo Mulić, informed network members with intention of neighbouring Croatia, that former military facility Čerkezovac, only some 800 meters away from the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina and about three kilometres from the centre of Novi Grad (Bosanski Novi), would be converted to a landfill for nuclear waste. He particularly emphasised non-transparency of the whole process, which is contrary to conventions and regulations that Croatia would have to comply with. The Director of National Park Una expressed his concern about the proximity of the planned location to this national park, which would endanger this area, as well as the area of the future Nature Park Una. The participants were informed that the Ministry of Tourism launched an initiative to include the river Una waterfalls in Martinbrod on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which could certainly be threaten by the landfill of radioactive waste in the immediate vicinity.
At the meeting of Annual Assembly as a separate event, a round table on the Status and Perspectives of Protected Areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held; this was an opportunity for managers of the Protected Areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina to exchange experiences and discuss problems that they are facing and possible methods to overcome them. At the meeting it was emphasized that designation of new Protected Areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be for the purpose of developing and promoting new tourist destinations, but primary the goal and purpose of such areas is the protection and improvement of natural values. Particular emphasis was placed on the need to improve mutual communication and deepen cooperation and in that order Parks Dinarides will initiate similar meetings in other countries of the region.