News of Parks of the Dinarides


Indexisation : Workshop dedicated to cooperation with local community held in three areas where project ''School network in protected areas'' is carried out

In May 2019, three workshops on Indexisation, i.e. assessment of cooperation between administrations of protected areas with local population, were held in areas where the Parks Dinarides, in cooperation with WWF Adria, implemented a regional project "School Network in Protected Areas". These are the protected areas: Nature Park “Stara planina" in Serbia, Nature Park "Hutovo Blato", and the Public Cantonal Institution for Protected Areas of Sarajevo Canton (Bijambare, Bentbaša, Skakavac, Vrelo Bosne, and Trebević) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Second cycle of indexation was held in Pirot on 5 May 2019 and it was attended by representatives from local communities from park area, local non-governmental organizations engaged in livestock breeding, sustainable tourism and recreation, as well as local associations that are active in the fight against the construction of mini hydropower plants on rivers in the protected area. Participants were active and willing to share their experiences about cooperation with management and as a positive example of inclusion they cited current process of drafting a ten-year management plan led by manager of "Srbijašume”, along with consultative meetings in all the municipalities that they organized with interested parties during drafting of plan, as well as announcement of Council of Nature park users "Stara planina" in the forthcoming period.

Representatives from management took opportunity to invite representatives from interested parties to respond on call and participate in a public hearing of ten-year management plan draft scheduled for the end of May 2019. "I am pleased that among representatives from local community were also teachers from schools involved in project "School Network in Protected Areas", especially because they expressed satisfaction with program and stated that cooperation with management was in place, improved, and they announced continuation of cooperation after finishing project. In this case, this means through formally defined cooperation with School networks of Nature Park Stara Planina", explained Jovana Dragić May from WWF Adria, project coordinator of School Network in Protected Areas.

The second cycle was held in Nature Park "Hutovo blato" on 27 May 2019 on Karaotok. Beside management, it was attended by representatives of several non-governmental organizations that were actively involved in area management, pensioner associations, from the largest elementary school in Čapljina, attended by over 1000 students, as well as representatives from hunting associations. Hunting association shared its previous experiences of close cooperation with management in poaching control, they stated good cooperation with local community, and that there was not any illegal forest harvesting. After held workshop, representative from WWF Adria held training for educational materials that were specially prepared for Nature Park "Hutovo blato" within project "School Network in Protected Areas". Educational materials are intended to children from local schools, which are for better introduction of immediate experience of learning about nature in nature within their area and ultimately actively contribute to nature protection.

In the Visitor Centre of the Protected Landscape "Bijambare" operated by the Public Cantonal Institution for the Protected Areas of Sarajevo Canton, on 31 May 2019, a workshop was held for the representatives of interested parties from local community. The workshop was attended by representatives living in Bijambare vicinity, who carried out their activities, services, and production in the brims of the area. Participants shared their opinion on a highly developed and well-established co-operation with management. Among the participants there were representatives of a mountaineering association that have been active in Bijambare for more than 20 years, and they are actively involved in protection and education, as well as providing accommodation services, organic production, medicinal plants, forest fruits, honey, and women's associations that are engaged with traditional local crafts, selling their products with the support of the Bijambare management.

They were particularly interested in creating a jointly offer and products placement with a label of protected area, and one of the ideas was to do "co-branding" for all areas managed by the Cantonal Public Institution. Since the promotional activity for School Network for Protected Areas of Sarajevo, including three local elementary schools, were carried out during May, positive impacts of teachers and children were shared with participants, and model of School network in Protected Area was presented, inspired by implemented model at Park Škocjanske jame in Slovenia, member of Parks Dinarides association.