GRUDE- Team members of the WWF project “Protected areas for nature and people” (PA4NP), gathered 19-23 September 2106 on the first meeting in Grude in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Beside representatives of WWF Adria, organization Dinarica from Bosnia and Herzegovina, WWF Serbia, and representatives of Parks Dinarides, present at the meeting were also Sofi Alexanderson, representative of WWF Sweden, Paolo Lombardi, director of WWF Mediterranean programme and president of WWF Adria, and Deni Porej, director of Department of protecting nature at WWF Mediterranean programme. Lombardi explained in which way PA4NP can contribute to the strategic goals of WWF Adria and Mediterranean program, while Porej presented the role and potential of PA4NP and WWF Adria in Southeast Europe region.
Director of WWF Adria, Martin Šolan, pointed out the importance of team work and synergy among members of team in achieving common goals and successfully implementing the project. Leon Kebe, the program manager of PA4NP, explained the dynamics of the project implementation in the region. After the meeting he said that the team is familiar with the wider picture of the PA4NP progarmme and that now everyone knows what other team members do in their countries.
“Protected areas for nature and people” project has two big goals: firstly, cooperation with local community and emphasizing dialogue between administration of protected areas and inhabitants which live in that areas, and secondly, influencing decision makers to cooperate with regional NGOs, to seek better understanding and resources for protected areas. This first goal is implemented through six field project. Coordinators of these projects, presented results of their work at annual meeting, as well as plan of activities for the next project year:
- NP Sutjeska (BiH), development of cannoning as a sustainable tourism product,
- Protected landscape Germia (KSV), development of urban park through promotion, education and mobilization,
- NP Una (BiH) , development of ecological responsible business
- NP Biogradska gora (MNE) and NP Tara (SRB), bear watching as sustainable touristic product
- NP Fruška gora, Đerdap and Tara, Special nature reserve Gornje Podunavlje and landscape of outstanding features Avala, development of educational center for schools and visitors
- The establishment of stakeholder’s forum in national parks: Fruška gora, Đerdap and Tara for better communication between park with local community, and also for better managing of protected areas.
The representative of WWF Sweden, Sofi Alexanderson thanked the management and team members for successful implementation of project in the past nine month. The moderator of the meeting, Phyllis Rachler from WWF Danube Carpathian program explained the importance of project management, based on results. Part of the meeting was a workshop on the integration of gender equality human-rights based approach in the work program.
The meeting was the opportunity for all team members, especially for the new ones, to personally get to know each other and make plans future cooperation. Beside working session, canoeing on the river Tredižat also contributed towards team building .
Last but not the least, worth mentioning is the “cultural and culinary bazar”, an event devoted to cultural differences and culinary specialties of the Balkan region, which was organized as part of the meeting. Bazar is a “legacy” of the „Dinaric Arc Parks” project, which continues to be organized every year, during annual conferences. For this occasion, directors of protected areas from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ana Soldo (PP Vjetrenica), Osman Delić (Public protected areas of the Sarajevo Canon), Zdravko Kutle (PP Blidinje), Amarildo Mulić (NP Una), and Nikola Zovko (PP Hutovo Blato) joined us in Grude for this exciting event.