Born Program

What is BorN Project?

Program

BORN - BORderless Nature. Biodiversity protection and development of Prokletije and Bjeshkët e Nemuna Natural Parks

The Prokletije and Bjeshkët e Nemuna Natural Parks are areas of unique landscape, one of the most important region for the protection of biodiversity in the Balkans and the whole Europe. They are rich in rare natural values, large number of important forest ecosystems, important habitats of rare species. Biodiversity derives also from its hydrology, geomorphology and landscape varieties, which have science, educative, educational and tourism-recreational importance. The cross-border importance of the area is recognized by national and European documents, as the State of Nature Report 2010-14 (KS) which maintains that Bjeshkët e Nemuna “is one of the most important areas for biodiversity conservation in the Balkans and throughout Europe. This region is considered to be among the mountain areas with wild flora, which is very rarely, not only in Balkan Peninsula but also in Europe”. The two Natural Parks and their biodiversity are protected in Montenegro and Kosovo by national law through several legislative instruments, guidelines and strategies.

 

Although, many European and international projects have been put in place across borders, joint projects that involve the two Natural Parks are very few and not very consistent. Cooperation between the two countries is however a priority.

 

It is worth mentioning, that the project throughout its activities and strategic plan of action, tends to develop an open tool of research, information, monitoring and raising awareness for a better knowledge of the wildlife and protection of biodiversity created. Furthermore, it foresees to include common standards, procedures and approaches, in order to support the decision-making processes in the field of environment protection developed. This means, to conclude concrete opportunities for strengthening and developing economic activities in natural and agro-food sectors through cross-border cooperation realized and cross-border natural tourism strategy developed and existing offers improved.

 

Another important vision of the project is, to create joint cross-border tools for environment education to be adopted in secondary school, for a better knowledge of the wildlife and plant resources realized. Not just for the pupils and scholars, also to work towards the awareness of the population on biodiversity as natural heritage to protect and as possible dynamo for sustainable economical growth enhanced.

 

In a general point of view, schools and universities will enhance their curricula by inserting in their programs biodiversity protection. The lack of awareness causes a lack of specific courses dedicated to biodiversity protection. Schools will improve their didactic tools and introduce innovative and proactive activities in biodiversity protection and promotion. Universities will have the opportunity to enjoy new space for empirical research, networking with LAs and CSOs, application of theoretical concepts and training on the field offered by the project. Nevertheless, all activities proposed by the project will be defined and shared with institutions, CSOs and other stakeholders. Target groups and final beneficiaries will be reached through informal and formal means, word of mouth and invitations. Through these means, we aim at reaching all the interested stakeholders on the territory. Participation of all stakeholders will be ensured through the citizens science approach (a participatory methodology par excellence), through round tables, through conferences, and through inclusion of schools and youth in the activities proposed. Moreover, inclusion of municipalities will ensure sustainability of the actions in the future.

The Projects and its Activities

The overall objectives of the project BORN - BORderless Nature. Biodiversity protection and development of Prokletije and Bjeshkët e Nemuna Natural Parks, are to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the project area and in specific the Natural Parks of Prokletije (MN) and Bjeshkët e Nemuna (KS), fostering the sustainable socio-economic development through cross-border cooperation among institutions, CSOs and population, since biodiversity both in Kosovo and Montenegro is in danger, due to illegal activities of timber trade, overuse of medicinal plant species and uncontrolled land development during the conflict of the '90s, and logging, fires, illegal constructions nowadays, cooperation in environmental protection is among both countries priorities.

From the point of view of the population and local stakeholders, CSOs and citizens are often not involved in and not informed about biodiversity and its protection. Lack of knowledge about the richness of this environment leads to the irresponsibility toward nature protection.

 

The general aim of the Project is to provide KS and MNE stakeholders with skills and opportunities to enhance the cross-border cooperation in the field of environmental protection through joint multilevel initiatives aimed at protecting, promoting and managing the valuable and sensitive ecosystem of the project area, fostering the private-public (CSOs, private small local businesses and Local Administrations - LAs) dialogue.

 

Through this project Applicants and Co-applicants, together with associates, local institutions and CSOs will enhance their long term partnership and involve new local stakeholders and EU actors. This will contribute to create synergies and virtuous relationships which will enable the cooperation of EU and Western Balkan stakeholders, in order to promote biodiversity protection as common and border-less resource in the perspective of cooperation and sustainable development.

The strategy outlined here foresees the development of a cross-border and international partnership, which will allow the establishment of a network of stakeholders, enhancing the partnership between civil society and institutions and enhancing traditional knowledge and local expertise. The overall objective will be reached through the achievement of three specific objectives:

1. Define and deepen the knowledge of flora and fauna habitats of the project area and its management needs;

2.Raise the awareness of local people on the value of the natural environment;

3. Support local stakeholders in developing sustainable development projects based on the enhancement of natural resources (= landscapes, water bodies, animals, plants etc.).

 

In order to achieve the abovementioned objectives and also, to come out with the expected results, positive cross-border coordination among stakeholders during the entire project and active involvement of all partners, are at a great importance.

The main activities, which the BorN project will go on with, are:

- A.0. Creation of the steering committee and the stakeholder map;

- A.1. Mapping biodiversity;

In the territory target, the knowledge on biodiversity needs to be updated urgently as it is lacking or, in the case of certain taxonomic groups such as invertebrates, bats, small mammals soil, totally or severely lacking. In addition to the qualitative data (which species are present) there are no exact quantitative (the size of the populations of several species) and chorological (the spatial distribution of the different species) data. In addition to that, there is no adequate identification of a set of bio-indicators (= entities particularly sensitive to changes in the environment). A base of information on the presence of animal and plant species that can integrate the official data held by the Montenegrin and Kosovan institutions for the management of nature is the starting point to set up a proper policy for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. Concretely, this activity will be carried out through the following steps:

A1.1 - Specific trainings

A1.2 - Field trips in the Parks in order to collect data on the focal species and integrate the data already present in Parks knowledge

A1.3 - Cross border meeting to share information and data collected

A1.4 - Creation of the Cross Border WEB GIS

A1.5 - Presentation of the cross-border WEB GIS

 

- A.2. Creation of an ecological cross-border network;

The activity aims at creating a cross-border ecological network capable of producing a sufficient degree of "ecological permeability" in the project area between the territory of Montenegro and Kosovo. Such cross-border ecological network is also designed to protect the existing links between the two National Parks and surrounding areas, avoiding that, especially in the future, the two protected areas will witness an unwanted "island effect".

A2.1 - Study visit in Italy.

A2.2 - Identification of Cross-Border Ecological Network

 

- A.3. Awareness raising on the value of natural resources in the education system;

One of the key-words in the field of biodiversity protection is "invest in new generation". Adults of tomorrow will have the task to avoid as much as possible errors in the management of nature that have been committed by present and past generations. Hence the importance of increasing knowledge among youth on issues connected to nature, the awareness of the central role that the natural environment has in human life. These general statements, however, must be translated in concrete activities in the local areas to avoid being mere statements of intent, so general as vague and lacking in substance. For this purpose, the project will involve the elaboration of an educational kit for high school pupils to learn about the main aspects of Nature. Within these classes an important role will be played by activists of local environmental groups that, properly instructed, will bring their own experiences at school. These meetings also represent important opportunities to raise awareness on the existence of local environmental CSOs and promote the activism of young people. This activity will not be limited to mere lectures. Students will be involved in field trips and in simple tasks of data collection, carried out in collaboration and under the guidance of local environmental CSOs and National Parks. Data collection with students will be conducted on common species, easily identifiable and spread in towns such as sparrows, swallows, martins and swifts. It is a well-tested and census project, whose implementation has the advantage of giving substance to the educational project, to give satisfaction to the participating boys and girls, to cement relations between educational institutions and local environmental groups and to strengthen cross-border cooperation between educational systems.

A3.1 - Meetings of project managers with local high schools

A3.2 - Study visit to Italy (EU) and creation of educational kit

A3.3 - Educational workshops and field trips

 

-  A.4. Awareness raising on the value of natural resources with general public and local communities;

The purpose of this activity is to increase the value of the natural environment in the eyes of the inhabitants of the project area. Through community meetings that will be organized in cooperation with CSOs, a permanent press office and the final conference, the project will convey the notion that the natural environment in good conditions and respected by its people is source of health and development. Beside benefiting from a physical and psychological points of view, if exploited properly, the environment can generate sustainable profit opportunities of development, through a sustainable use of the natural resources. The meetings are aimed at presenting concrete examples of good practices and tips on how to decline such indications on a local scale.

A4.1 - Organization of community meetings

A4.2 - Permanent press office

A4.3 - Final conference

 

- A.5. Concrete development projects on renewable energies, forestry, natural resources and dairy;

The study, research, monitoring in the field of environmental conservation if they have a relapse into concrete actions are likely to remain meaningless activities. Action 5 promotes the possibility of work on the protection biodiversity and at the same time work on use of nature as a source of sustainable social and economic development.

A5.1 - Renewable energies

A5.2 - Improvement of forestry techniques

A5.2.1 Creation of specific focus groups

A5.2.2 Study visit to Italy in order to meet and visit an EU best practice of forestry protection and management

A5.2.3 Creation of a handbook

A5.2.4 Enhancement of natural and dairy products

 

- A.6. Enhancement of the nature tourism offer

In light of the most recent studies in the field of “conservation ecology”, the management of biodiversity must not result in putting areas of particular significance in a virtual "bell jar". It is instead important to ensure that animals, plants and human beings live the natural environment and co-habit in the ecosystems. This will arise public opinion awareness on the importance of successful environmental protection policies. In addition, the educational, recreational and cultural use of nature and biodiversity is, if well designed and conducted, an economic activity of the utmost importance and perfectly sustainable. When environment becomes a source of income, for local inhabitants its respect and protection become no more a "duty" but a need. In order to give practical effect to the above written, this action will consist of a set of small infrastructural interventions aimed at improving the nature touristic offer of the cross-borer area. After round-tables with relevant stakeholders, through bottom up approach, a network of hiking trails, climbing zone and biking trails will be identified, develop and optimized in order to attract tourists and offer new and well organize sport experiences (always more requested at international level). All those small infrastructural interventions will be identified through joint round-tables with local stakeholders.

A6.1 - Development and improvement of the main hiking trail

A6.2 - Development of new rock climbing zones

A6.3 - Mountain-bike trails

A6.4 - Creation of specific panels and interactive totems

 

 

What is BorN Project?

The Projects and its Activities.

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29.06.2017

Final conference of the

BorN- BORderless Nature

 

On the 29th of August, was held the final conference of the BorN - BORderless Nature “Biodiversity protection and development of Prokletije and Bjeshkët e Nemuna Natural Parks”, in the Center for Culture of the Municipality of Plav. In this conference were present representatives from Municipality of Plav , Director of Association Trentino con i Balcani Onlus , Mr. Maurizio Camin, experts of Albatros SRL  Mr. Michele Caldonazzi and Mr. Alessandro Marsilli, as well both of two project managers Mr. Elbert Krasniqi and Mr. Almir Sutkovic, also a large group of representatives of local authorities, non-governmental organizations from Kosovo and Montenegro.

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What is a Web GIS?

Web mapping is the process of using maps delivered by geographical information systems (GIS). Since a web map on the World Wide Web is both served and consumed, web mapping is more than just web cartography, it is both a service activity and consumer activity. Web GIS emphasizes geodata processing aspects more involved with design aspects such as data acquisition and server software architecture such as data storage and algorithms, than it does the end-user reports themselves. The terms web GIS and web mapping remain somewhat synonymous. Web GIS uses web maps, and end users who are web mapping are gaining analytical capabilities. The term location-based services refers to web mapping consumer goods and services. Web mapping usually involves a web browser or other user agent capable of client-server interactions

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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Trentino con il Kossovo,  and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union Office in Kosovo.

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