The fourth conference of the Parks Dinarides, organised by the Parks Dinarides, was held in Budva in 2018.
Conference gathered over 150 participants from eight countries of the region, who exchanged experiences with leading experts, through discussions, presentations and workshops during three work days, and handled the topic of strengthening cooperation between protected areas and local communities, which is one of foundations of the natural resources sound management.
Zoran Mrdak, President of the Parks Dinarides, pointed out in his introductory presentation: Today, four years after establishing, our network members are 88 protected areas from eight countries of the Dinaric Arc. Symbolically, representatives of the first national park in the Dinaric Arc region, NP “Pelister”, which was declared a protected area exactly 70 years ago, will be with us. Also, those from the youngest national park in our region, NP “Drina”, which obtained its status a year ago. This year’s conference slogan is “People and protected areas” and, through several segments, we want to give you an insight into the best practices, new initiatives and successful projects, jointly implemented by the protected areas and local communities.
Our dear guests and participants are the representatives of local communities and civil sector. I believe that, through active participation in the conference work, they will also be inspired and additionally motivated for new activities with protected areas managers.
Appreciating the relevance of cooperation, the participants agreed that the Parks Dinarides will remain committed to substantive involvement of the local population representatives in the protected areas planning and management with the aim of increasing economic, social and culture benefits.
The conclusions reached at the conference were focused on strategic potentials for the Network development.
– The WWF, in collaboration with the Parks Dinarides, will keep developing index of local population involvement.
– Grant program for the protected areas turned out to be an effective mechanism for the improvement of communication and cooperation between the protected areas and local population. The Parks Dinarides will make efforts to have this Program established as a lasting mechanism.
– The platform www.natureforpeople.com will be used by the Dinarides members for the exchange of information and knowledge about solutions for sound management of the protected areas in the region.
– The event participants welcomed establishing the Regional biodiversity working group.
Moreover, it is recommended that, during the communication strategy development, this body includes appropriate mechanisms for involvement of the protected areas and civil society organizations in the decision making processes.
– The EU funds are a significant financing resource concerning the protected areas and partners in the Dinaric Arc countries. The Parks Dinarides will help the protected areas to connect and develop joint project ideas.