The Project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia” is launching the campaign “Healthy nature for a healthy life” with the aim to increase the awareness of Serbian citizens about the wonderful Serbian nature and why it is important to protect it. The COVID 19 taught us that enough natural resources and good health are essential for human well-being. A good-preserved ecosystem and biodiversity are crucial to ensure also the good health of our nature. Serbia has plenty of natural values, and through the Project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia”, their conservation will be improved.
This bus campaign intends to show to the citizens the amazing landscapes that there are in the country and to highlight the importance of the protection of biodiversity and nature conservation. Incredible nature photos that are part of the photo contest “Natura 2000 in Frame” will be circulating through Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš for two months in different buses and trolleys. Lines as 16, 95 or 65 which travel from different Belgrade neighbourhoods will be on ride accompanied by wolves, horses and beautiful landscapes of the forests of the Tara National Park. In parallel, all semi-finalists photos from the photo contest are displayed at a photo exhibition on Park Veliki Kalemegdan, Savsko šetalište during the month of April 2021.
Nature protection is a vital topic for Serbia, especially related to the implementation of Chapter 27 as part of the negotiation process for the EU accession. This Chapter is dealing with environmental protection and climate change, and the establishment of the Natura 2000 network is part thereof. This network is a crucial instrument for biodiversity protection in the European Union, established with the aim of securing the survival of the most valuable species and habitats and ensuring that European nature systems stay healthy and resilient. The European Union Delegation in Serbia is supporting the Ministry of Environmental Protection in the process of transposition of the Environment European Directives to Serbian legislation, through different projects and technical assistance.
Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia, stated: “Healthy nature is healthier life for every person. This is why each and every one of us has a duty to protect the natural habitats and biodiversity. Serbia is host to many important and unique ecosystems and biodiversity. I am glad that here we can showcase some of them and raise awareness to protect these natural treasures. To present and preserve these important ecosystems, we decided to bring the wildlife to cities, through the lenses of some talented photographers from all over Europe and Serbia. The Green Agenda is among top EU’s priorities and I am delighted that Serbia is preparing its ‘Natura 2000 network’, which will better inform the citizens on the habitats and species present in Serbia and the need to ensure their protection”. The Project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia” has a focus on research and monitoring the most important species and habitats. Serbia is extraordinarily rich in biodiversity, and Serbia’s territory is characterised by fantastic genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, although species diversity is still in the process of being fully researched and documented.
Approximately 44,200 species and subspecies have been registered so far, and the total number of taxa is estimated at 60,000. Some species are endemic of Serbia or in the Balkans, and some of them have also been part of Serbian history, as Ramonda nathaliae, an endemic plant species of the central Balkans, nowadays a symbol of the Armistice Day. Curiosities like this are part of the quizzes displayed inside the buses that are part of the campaign, with the idea of awakening curiosity among commuters while increasing knowledge about Serbian nature.