In order to present the main results of the identification of the „EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia“ project to the most relevant experts in Serbia, and present the proposal of the potential Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Potential Sites for Community Interests (pSCIs) in the Republic of Serbia that have been identified during the project implementation, the second technical workshop in Belgrade was held on August 25th and 26th 2021.
After two years of implementation, the project has identified a long list of sites under agreed specific criteria. „With this project, we started a big job on the identification of Natura 2000 on the territory of Serbia in the context of collecting scientific data, managing this data and providing preconditions for further implementation of the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive“, said the Project Coordinator and Head of Department for Ecological Network in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Snezana Prokic.
She added that, based on the results that were achieved, this project was one of the most successfully implemented until today „We must develop this scientific work and to develop our institutions, namely the Ministry of Environmental protection, the Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia and the Institute for Nature Protection of Vojvodina Province, as well as scientific institutions that will improve, above all, their fundamental scientific basis through theory and preparation of methodology for application in Serbia“, said Snezana Prokic.
During the workshop, with the presence of around 60 professionals, some of the topics that were discussed were: the selection criteria and methodology for the identification of the Natura 2000 sites, agreement about the limits established for each species or group of species and the coherent of its coverage under the whole Natura 2000 network, as well as the further steps and continuation of the establishment of the Natura 2000 network in Serbia.
„One of the main achievements of implementing the Natura 2000 project is the identification of potential Natura 2000 sites in Serbia. The current proposal contains 201 potential Sites for Community Interest and 85 Special Protection Areas. They are covering around 35% of the territory of Serbia“ said project Team leader Ana Iñigo.
As a part of the negotiation process for the accession to the European Union, nature protection is an important topic for Serbia related to implementing Chapter 27 dedicated to environmental protection and climate change. The Natura 2000 network is a crucial instrument for biodiversity protection in the EU to ensure the long survival of the most valuable species and habitats in Europe. The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia supports the Ministry of Environmental Protection through several projects in the transposition of the Environment European Directives to Serbian legislation. „For the European Union, the protection of nature is a priority, and different agreements and policies are taking place to enforce the commitment of EU countries. The Delegation of the European Union in Serbia will continue to support Serbia on its EU integration path, including supporting Serbia with the transposition and implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives“, commented Antoine Avignon, the Project Manager from the European Union Delegation in the Republic of Serbia, during the closure of the workshop.