The Grant Program for the Protected Areas is intended to the managers of the Dinaric Arc protected areas with the aim of improving relations and dialogue between protected areas and local communities and establishing new partnerships on local and regional levels.
The priority issues of the Grant Program for the Protected Areas are: Decision making in the protected area; Management planning; Communication among protected area, local community and wider public; Education and cooperation with the local educational institutions and organizations; Economic development and Equal rights and opportunities.
The Grant Program for the Protected Areas is implemented by the Parks Dinarides in partnership with the WWF Adria and with the support of Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) within the regional Program “Protected Areas for Nature and People” (PA4NP).
2018 – 2019
The Parks Dinarides launched the first cycle of the Grant Program for the Protected Areas in January 2018. Ten local and regional projects were granted funds in the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.
The granted projects established new partnerships among thirty protected areas, regional and local institutions and organizations, private companies and local producers. Implementing bodies of the projects are: Public Institution (PI) Green Circle, PI for Nature Protection Međimurje Nature and Nature Park Žumberak – Samobor Mountains, Croatia; National Park Mavrovo, Macedonia; Regional Park Kozjansko and Tivoli Landscape Park, Slovenia; Nature Park Tikvara, Serbia; National park Shebenik – Jablanice, Albania; Nature Park Blidinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nature Park Piva, Montenegro.
Within the granted projects, various activities were implemented to involve local population in decision making processes on social and economic development and protection of natural and cultural values of the park: preparation of the public involvement guide and establishing of a local forum, establishing of mobile units to inform local population from remote and inaccessible areas about the park activities, assigning and equipping of the park premises for the local producers – to improve conditions for production and joint placement, for matching offers by family farms and companies for buying, local hiking guide training, etc.
Project were implemented from April 2018 to March 2019.
2021 – 2022
Cycle II of the Grant Program for the Protected Areas began in March 2021. Seven local and regional projects were granted funds within it in: Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia in partnership with the protected areas from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia.
The granted projects established new partnerships among 21 entities, protected areas, regional and local institutions and organizations, private companies and local producers. Implementing bodies of the projects are: National park Tara, Serbia; Special Nature Reserve (SNR) Obedska bara – Public Company Vojvodinašume, Economic Unit Sremski Mitrovci, Serbia; Nature Park Piva, Montenegro, Public Company for national parks Montenegro; SNR Gornje Podunavlje – Vojvodinašume/ Economic Unit Sombor, Serbia; as well as National park Mavrovo, North Macedonia.
The second grants cycle is a continuation of the support to the protected areas to improve their cooperation and dialogue with local communities, to establish and strengthen lasting mechanisms for communication and support, as well as to make new partnerships on local and regional levels. Within the granted projects, various activities were implemented to that end: trainings in strengthening local communities, educational workshops and development of educational programs and materials, creating local products, new content and offer based on the protected areas’ values, as well as activities concerning establishing partnerships, exchange of knowledge and experience among the protected areas.
Project were implemented from March 2021 to May 2022.