The project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia“ identified 277 potential Sites of Community Interest (pSCIs) and 85 Special Protection Areas (SPAs) during the last two and half years of implementation – that is the main result of work performed by a team of more than 30 international and national experts. This information was highlighted at the seminar that the project organized on 9th and 10th November to review the requirements for the designation and future management of Natura 2000 network in Serbia.

The project that has provided the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Institutes of Nature Conservation and other stakeholders with support in establishing the Natura 2000 network in Serbia is ending on the 30th of November 2021. The extensive activities of the experts and stakeholders included field works, data analyses and identification of potential Natura 2000 sites, development of IT tools and procedures for data management, analysis and improvements of the legal framework, capacity building and preparation of management plans. It also included various activities aiming to raise public awareness and knowledge about Natura 2000 and biodiversity protection.

The two-day seminar was held to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project results and to present and discuss the current status of biodiversity protection in Serbia. It also included financing possibilities and future investment plans, recommended legal reforms, and a post-project work plan as a roadmap for the beneficiary institutions to continue working on the Natura 2000 network establishment.

The seminar was held in the presence of all the key actors in this process – The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Provincial Secretariat for Urbanism and Environmental Protection, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province, Serbian Environmental Protection Agency, the Delegation to the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and representatives of international organizations and other development support projects.

International presenters from the EC Directorate-General for the Environment, Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria, and Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds shared their recommendations and best practices for establishing Natura 2000.

The “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia” project has been recognized as a major step towards the designation of Natura 2000 for the improvement of nature protection.