Protected nature in Serbia – importance for all citizens

December 16, 2019

The project Natura 2000 is part of the long process of EU accession that the Republic of Serbia is developing for the transposition of Birds and Habitats Directives and the designation of Natura 2000 network with the aim to finish one of the main started steps based on SPAs and pSCIs designation. For continuation of this work during the Natura 2000 project implementation, the contribution of national Serbian experts is essential. These are the main conclusion of the first technical workshop for Natura 2000 held in Belgrade on 10 and 11 of December 2019.

With the presence of about 100 participants, the Project Team presented the result of the first desktop analysis, and first national reference lists of species and habitats. Among other topics, it was discussed exposing and validating of big gaps of data and needs as well as about first established criteria for SPAs and pSCIs selection. Through the working groups, moderated by Mr. Pavol Polak, Mrs. Ana Inigo and Mr. Miloš Popović, a more detailed analysis of the status of reference species and habitat types was made on the basis of scientific evaluation in accordance with EU criteria for Natura 2000 including the presentation of Prof. dr. Dmitar Lakušić on the development of comprehensive manual for the identification of Natura 2000 sites and ecological important areas of national importance.

“Nature conservation through Natura 2000 is essential and it is benefiting for any country where that is implemented. It is crucial for health, for ecosystem and biodiversity. There is a lot of working hands that I am happy to see, so many experts and people who are ready to tackle for nature in Serbia” said Jordi Cadilla Falco from the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.

Speaking about the adoption of the EU acquis, Assistant Minister of Environmental Protection Slobodan Perović alleged: “Within Chapter 27-Environmental and Climate Change it is planned to improve the transposition and implementation of EU legislation also in the field of nature protection. We have significant work ahead to identify potential Natura 2000 sites in Serbia in accordance with the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive”.

His colleague from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Head of Department for Ecological Network and Acceptability Assessment, Snežana Prokić mentioned “We have been engaged in this process for 15 years since the first strategic framework of 2005. To date, we have all made great efforts together and today we are here to begin finalizing the identification of Natura 2000 in Serbia and achieving concrete results in the accession process under Chapter 27”. Below she gave a presentation on the status of Natura 2000 in Serbia.

Project Team Leader Ana Inigo highlighted that excellent previous works have been developed about the designation of Natura 2000 in the country, gathering data and even defining potential SPAs sites. “A good background from previous project is today available to support Serbia in all the Natura 2000 implementation process. We have still two years of work to improve all the information regarding the Natura 2000 network, to prepare the first agreed proposal for potential SPA and SCI, to develop a good database and harmonize the legislation related to Nature protection”. She also added that during the project capacities in all institutions linked with nature conservation and management will be built and that Serbian society will be informed, and awareness raised about the importance of nature conservation, biodiversity and all Serbian natural values.

Beside the fact that today there is a lot of more information than years ago because the Ministry of Environment has funded recent projects to gathering new scientific data, there are still some gaps of information in terms of habitats and species in Serbia. The project Natura 2000 expects to help to cover these gaps. 

By Vesna Glisic