Protected Areas for Nature and People | WWF

Protected Areas for Nature and People

National Park Durmitor, Montenegro
© Martin Šolar, WWF Adria
The purpose of the project “Protected Areas for Nature and People”, implemented by WWF Adria since October 2015, is sustainable use of natural resources in the Dinaric Arc region as a foundation for the socio-economic development. To that end, WWF, together with its partners, will strive to achieve the following targets:
  • To introduce examples of how protected areas can generate social and economic benefits in cooperation with the local community,
  • To improve cooperation between the protected areas and the local community in the entire region,
  • To enhance cooperation between WWF and its partners on the one side and decision-makers and those who have impact on them on the other side at the national level.

WWF will use the examples of socio-economic benefits of well-managed parks, as well as argumentation and information required for decision-making to encourage decision-makers from 8 countries in the region to deliver on their promises made under the “Big Win for Dinaric Arc”, a document they adopted in 2013. This is WWF’s contribution with the aim of achieving the targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
"Protected Areas for Nature and People" is implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.  
It is financed by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) with 4,200,000 EUR.

Social and economic benefits of protected areas

Six field projects in the protected areas of the Dinaric Arc will focus in particular on the social and economic benefits of a specific area concerning the park – local population relation. WWF will not work alone on strengthening of this dialogue: it is imperative to have cooperation with local organisations, to have everyone speaking the same language and to achieve as best cooperation as possible.

WWF will make an innovative assessment of the involvement of the local community in the protected area management. In compliance with such assessment, a knowledge sharing plan will be drafted, which will subsequently increase the level of cooperation between the parks and their surroundings. This will be supported additionally by study visits, new partnerships and their reinforcement.

Ensuring human rights

An important component of the project is respecting and ensuring fundamental human rights, especially in accordance with the principles:
• right to information,
• inclusion of all social groups, especially vulnerable,
• non-discrimination and equality,
• respect for the principle of responsibility and transparency.

Protected Areas in Adria

© Sutjeska National Park © Ruben Smit © Arben Islami © Boris Erg © Robert Pašičko © WWF-Dinaric Arc Parks

Interactive database

Interactive database will be developed to illustrate the socio-economic benefits
offered by protected areas. The main objective of the database will be to convey the key messages to decision-makers, business sector and all stakeholders, with the aim of having them use such messages for better protected areas management as well as for the improvement of status of nature in the region. Information and results obtained with in discussion with over 1300 people through 58 workshops in 8 countries, using the Protected Areas Benefits Assessment Tool (PA-BAT) methodology, will be an integral part of the database. 

Field work

9 protected areas will be directly involved in the project through six field projects.
The National Park Una (B&H) will address the development of a model for parks as generators of development of environmentally responsible business, by providing support to green business ideas, opening of an eco-market, placing of local products on the market and their branding. The National Park Sutjeska (B&H) will address the development of the sustainable tourism product that may be used as an alternative to non-sustainable models. In Kosovo, the Germia Park will be developed as an urban park, an example to similar areas in urban regions to promote nature conservation through implementation of a variety of programmes for dissemination information, education and mobilisation of citizens.

The National Park Biogradska Gora (MNE) and the National Park Tara (SRB) will carry out a joint initiative of bear watching as a sustainable product for natureoriented tourism development, in addition to the measures for bear protection and habitat improvement. An important component is the local community awareness raising concerning bear co-habitation. Serbia will additionally improve communication with the local community by establishing a stakeholders' forum, and the National Parks Fruška Gora, Đerdap and Tara, the Special Nature Reserve Upper Podunavlje and Protected Landscape Avala will become educational centres for schools and visitors. 
The fieldwork in Albania is planned for the second year of the project as well.

Supporting Parks Dinarides

	© Leo Burnett
    The membership in the Parks Dinarides – network of protected areas of the
    – includes more than 50 protected areas from the entire region.
    WWF will continue encouraging further development of the network of protected
    areas in the Dinarides. The cooperation within the network will be reinforced as
    a potential for learning and sharing good practices within the region to develop
    the possibilities for integrating the lessons learnt into national policies for nature