Parks Dinarides for the promotion of the Western Balkans region | WWF

Parks Dinarides for the promotion of the Western Balkans region

Posted on
23 November 2012

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina – The beauty of protected areas and the Parks Dinarides brand will re-connect the region, because nature does not recognize borders. This was the conclusion of the five-day international conference Dinaric Arc Parks, which was held this week in Banja Luka. The conference gathered two hundred participants, employees of national and nature parks from eight countries, which learned about methods to assess benefits and values of the protected areas, climate change risks, sustainable tourism and protected areas in the EU context.

The conference is one of the activities of the “Dinaric Arc Parks” project, which is carried out by WWF in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia. Through the Parks Dinarides brand, whose slogan is “The World Undiscovered”, conservationists want to promote Dinaric Arc as a region with an irresistible landscape and diverse, yet unified culture. Project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway and the MAVA Foundation. Norwegian Ambassador to BiH also closed the conference.

“The goal of this project is to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in the region by developing a regional sense of belonging based on common natural heritage and rebuilding a positive internal and external image of the region. I want to thank WWF and the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska for organizing such an important conference and emphasizing the importance of natural values of this region for Europe. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is proud to be part of such a positive project, and we believe it will continue to evolve in such a good direction,” said Lilloe Anne Vibeke, the Ambassador of Norway in BiH during the closing speech of the conference.

The project “Dinaric Arc Parks” started in January 2012, with the main goal to create a network of 75 parks in the region. In addition, there is also a very important task of training the employees of protected areas to better manage parks and to develop sustainable tourism. Another goal of the project is to work on the recognition of the Dinaric Arc eco-region, which should be just as important as the Alps or the Carpathians. Dinaric Arc could become synonymous for sustainable development.

The conference hosted several keynote speakers, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2007 Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, which gave a presentation on climate change and it’s impacts on protected areas, nature and environment. Nigel Dudley presented the benefits and values of protected areas in the region, while Erica Stanciu shared with the participants their knowledge on the protected areas in the EU context. Wilf Fenten from Europarc Consulting held a presentation and training on sustainable tourism. Conference participants visited also the National Park Kozara.

Petra Boić Petrač, Regional Communications Officer WWF Mediteranean, +385 91 2905 976;