The Balkan countries bacame involved in 1999 when the Concept of the Balkan Green Belt was created. The southernmost part of the European Green Belt hosts a hot spot of biodiversity and endemism. Predominantly located in the mountain ranges of the Balkan Peninsula it forms an extremely heterogeneous mosaic of natural landscapes including pristine alpine ecosystems, forests and steppic habitats as well as lakes and coastal zones. Besides extraordinary cultural landscapes developed with a multitude of threatened plant and animal species. Above the smooth hills of Sakar along the border between Bulgaria and Turkey the imperial eagle circles in the air. The remote border areas and huge forests are home to shy animals like the Balkan lynx. The Balkans countries involved are Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, FYR Macedonia, Greece, Turkey.
Project “Protecting Biodiversity in the Balkans – Strengthening cooperation along the Balkan Green Belt”
The project “Protecting Biodiversity in the Balkans” started officially in January 2015 and has a total duration of 24 months. The project aims at the conservation of a transboundary ecological network along the Balkan Green Belt through enhancement of cooperation. The foreseen activities will contribute to improve the protection of the biodiversity in the Balkans and to strengthen the cross-border cooperation among the Balkan countries.
In the frame of the project the NGO partner organisations from the nine countries located at the Balkan Green Belt (Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey) shall be involved through grant agreements for services to support the implementation of several project activities.
The objectives of the project are:
To raise the profile of the Balkan Green Belt and the awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation and ecological networks in the region and beyond.
To improve transboundary cooperation along the Balkan Green Belt through increased regional support to the initiative and its objectives.
To improve the basis of decision-making and awareness-raising on biodiversity and protected areas along the Balkan Green Belt.
EuroNatur intends to implement the following activities with the support of the NGO partner organisations:
1. Elaboration and implementation of a communication and awareness raising programme
2. Organisation and implementation of a regional “Balkan Green Belt” conference