Stakeholder Councils Established in Three National Parks in Serbia
Ministry of environmental protection has defined stakeholder councils within the Law on National Parks in order to secure sustainable management of natural resources in the most valuable areas in Serbia.
“As much as it is necessary to increase the number and surface of protected areas, it is equally important to improve management in them and stop unsustainable use of natural resources. To achieve this it is necessary to have regular monitoring and improvement of biodiversity and benefits that ecosystems give to people. We believe that stakeholder councils in national parks will contribute to this”, said Jasmina Jović, Assistant to the Minister for Nature Protection and Climate Change at the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Stakeholder councils gather members of local government, local community and organizations that implement their activities on the territory of the national park. They will now together be involved in the process of making management programs and plans, with the priority of securing better protection and promotion of that area.
“The goal of establishing stakeholder councils is to harmonize the interests of the local community, organizations, institutions and enterprises from national parks or their immediate surroundings. We want to make a model that will in a sustainable way connect local communities and management of national parks, so everyone could benefit from better managing. If the local community is included in a proper way, a better management of the protected areas is possible, which will contribute to the better nature conservation”, said Duška Dimović from WWF Adria.
Improving the management of protected areas in the Balkan is one of the priorities of WWF Adria within the program "Protected areas for nature and people", which is financed by the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA).
In addition to cooperation with the local population and resource users, the project promotes good regional and global practice examples on how local people can have socio-economic benefits from living in national parks.