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  03.06.2019, 12:45h

Members of the Dinarides Parks at the 5th Assembly of the Network proclaimed Dinarides Protection Day

The 5th General Assembly of the Dinarides Parks and the annual meeting of the network were held on 28 and 29 May 2019 at the Blidinje Nature Park in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The event brought together some 60 participants who are members of the network and representatives of protected areas in the Dinarides region.

Through presentations and discussions, members of the network were acquainted with the current activities to develop the local population inclusion index and other index cycles that the Dinarides Parks are currently implementing in 25 protected areas as part of that process. The results of the Fund allocation programme for protected areas were also presented, and this has proven to be a successful mechanism to improve communication and cooperation between protected areas and the local population.

A special topic of the meeting, and later the General Assembly, was the initiative to establish a Dinarides Protection Day. The initiative was supported by the members, and it was decided that 7 October should be proclaimed Dinarides Protection Day, as the date in 2014 when the declaration of intent to establish the Dinarides Parks was signed in Brijuni National Park. The objective of establishing Dinarides Protection Day is to promote the unique and complex natural wealth and cultural and historical heritage of this area considered significant by so many, and to improve the natural values within the area.

The Executive board and General Assembly received three new parks into membership: Zasavica special natural reserve and Tikvara Nature Park from Serbia, and Kozara National Park from Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing the total network of Dinarides Parks up to 95 protected areas in eight countries of the region. In addition to expanding the network, the General Assembly of Dinarides Parks adopted the Annual Report on the work and financial report of the Dinarides Parks for 2018, and the Annual work plan for 2019.

As part of the annual Assembly, a round table on the topic State and perspectives of protected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held as a special event, offering the opportunities for protected areas managers from Bosnia and Herzegovina to exchange experiences and discuss the problems they face, and to seek out possible solutions. At the meeting, it was stressed that the proclamation of new protected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina does not need to be for the purpose of developing and promoting new tourism destinations, but that the primary objective and purpose of such areas is their protection and improvement of the natural values within. The need to improve mutual communications and to expand cooperation was stressed, and therefore Dinarides Parks will initiate similar meetings in other countries of the region.