Parks Dinarides – network of the protected areas of Dinairdes in cooperation with the Ministry of ecology, spatial planning and urbanism organized First meeting of the managers of the protected areas in Montenegro. Meeting was a part of the conference „Management of the protected areas in Montenegro“ which was held on 23rd of September 2022 in Kolašin.
The meeting was the first meeting of the managers of protected areas and it was a great opportunity to exchange their experiences and challenges they face in the management of these valuable areas. In Montenegro, five (5) national parks and nine (9) nature parks currently have institutional managers.
Since the declaration of the Piva Nature Park in 2015, a total of nine new nature parks have been declared, but the process of establishing nature parks for several areas is in the final phase.
This dynamic of establishing new protected areas so far has not been accompanied by the establishment of adequate management structures and the adoption of the necessary planning documents. In addition, the experience of managing nature parks in the last eight years has shown that the legal framework is not sufficiently defined and clear for the numerous challenges faced by nature park managers, which results in overlapping responsibilities in different areas.
Therefore, we considered it important to start a dialogue between the management and the relevant institutions, as well as to look at the current situation in the management of protected areas and to consider the challenges and opportunities for improving the management system of protected areas in Montenegro.
Meeting gathered around 50 participants, managers of protected areas, relevant institutions from Montenegro and Croatia, and local authorities that manage protected areas on their territory or are in the process of establishing new parks, the following conclusions were reached:
- Participants welcome the declaration of new protected areas, or draw attention the need to establish adequate management structures and timely adoption of planning and management documents;
- Current financial support for protected areas is insufficient and most parks have difficulty ensuring financial sustainability. Therefore, it is necessary to establish clear financial mechanisms for stronger and systemic support of the state and local authorities;
- The inconsistency of legal solutions and the need to improve the legal framework, especially the one that regulates fattening of a character for the functioning and likes of nature parks, is recognized;
- It is necessary to carry out the transformation of JP for national parks in accordance with the Law;
- It is necessary to improve intersectoral cooperation and resolve open issues in terms of overlapping jurisdictions and territories managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management / Forestry Administration;
- The need to improve the spatial planning documentation in the area of zone revision is recognized, as well as the establishment of a buffer zone in order to ensure adequate protection and avoid overlapping of the territory under protection with hunting areas or areas for the commercial use of noise;
- The management capacities of protected areas (human, financial and technical) are often insufficient and it is necessary to start activities to strengthen them as soon as possible. It is necessary to focus special attention on the control services in the parks, to consider their status and responsibilities in order to improve the protection of these areas;
- The need to strengthen mutual cooperation between managers of protected areas is recognized and the establishment of an association that would bring together managers of protected areas is proposed.
In order to further improve the functioning of protected areas, Parks Dinarides will, with the support of The Nature Conservancy (a global organization for nature conservation), analyze the legal framework and the practice of managing protected areas in Montenegro in order to create and implement improvement activities based on recommendations of capacity of the manager as well as initiated and facilitated a dialogue between the manager and the relevant institutions with the aim of overcoming the challenge and solving open issues in the management of protected areas.