25. srp 2014.

Industrious months of Dinaric Arc Parks

Butrinti leaflet
May –July 2014 was an action-packed period for Albanian team of Dinaric Arc Parks. After the first workshops on PAs benefit assessment and preparation for application process of Valbona National Park to EUROPARK federation, it arrived the second communications training of 20 Albanian PA managers. Topic?…..How should national parks become relevant to Albanian people? How could managers speak to various publics and media in order to effectively deliver their conservation message? The basic means of communications and interpretation of natural heritage were explained during previous training of March, therefore now was the time to practice with “hands on subject”. Through numerous examples, ideas and options to exploit, the protected areas’ managers realized that communications can be a strong tool to “convince” both famers living in their parks and visitors from big cities. 
...for local people

By end of May, we published for the first time a touristic brochure that promotes 15 national parks as excellent nature destinations. “Discover Nature of Albania” is an appealing 40-pages booklet that reveals for Albanian and foreign visitors, the treasures of our national parks and their surroundings. Nature lovers will find now in all parks and Albania’s entry points, something to get inspiration and consult before planning their next trip.

Moving forward, our preparations for the first national conference of Protected Areas had started in spring 2014. We planned to organize in June a high level event that would review current situations on Albanian PA-s, identify main drawbacks and discuss with best experts in the country how to face those challenges on the way to sustainable management of national treasures. The first Conference on Albanian Protected Areas was a success as it brought together more than 70 specialists, managers and experts working with protected areas all over Albania but its findings were not a complete joy. Albania has 15 national parks, but none of them managed. Some of them are considered lucky because they have attracted the attention of donors who perform some management activities. Other PAs are left adrift by public administration; many of them are preserved only due to remoteness, or lack of population living around them. Conference urged Albanian government to urgently meet its obligations on the management of protected areas, as they are foreseen in Albanian legislation and honor the commitments made in international forums such as “Big Win 2” conference.
2nd communications training
This was not good enough for our DAP coordinator, Abdulla who “vetoed” our summer vacations unless we designed and produced thousands of leaflets targeting the people who live in and around each national park. So 15 more leaflets to prepare, print and distribute in remote areas! Together with park managers and conservation experts we sat down and identified sharpest issues concerning each Albanian park, somewhere waste problems, in another park illegal logging or fishing with explosives. Once the problems were listed, the team defined the message to be conveyed……no preaching…. just opening the eyes of local people on the precious heritage they have next to their door and upon which they could build their future. 

National conference
End of July found us quite tired by DAP communication campaign but at the same time closer to our ends. What is most important…..now we are the people that Albanian specialists of protected areas contact and seek advice from, and those who managed to reach out thousands of people all over the country.

Odeta Stavri,WWF

14. srp 2014.

Proslava Dana Europske Amazone

Veliki skok, u nedjelju, 13.7., na obali Drave kod Križnice u Hrvatskoj
WWF je u partnerstvu s Euronaturom i brojnim lokalnim nevladinim udrugama ove nedjelje proslavio drugi Dan Europske Amazone. Slavlje zdravih rijeka obilježeno je raznovrsnim događanjima i proslavama na prirodnim obalama Mure, Drave i Dunava. Tisuće ljudi diljem cijele Europe istovremeno su skočili u rijeke obilježivši tako akciju Veliki skok, kojom se odašilje važna poruka: žive rijeke i vlažna područja imaju veliku ekološku vrijednost, za razliku od beživotnih kanala koji služe samo kao plovni putevi ili za proizvodnju električne energije.

Više o samom događaju pročitatjte ovdje!

Montenegrin president supports Dinaric Arc Parks project

President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic gave support to WWF's project Dinaric Arc Parks. By sending his letter of support, Vujanovic joined his colleagues from the Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia.

"On this occasion I want to tell my appreciation to the initiative of WWF in the nature protection of the Dinarides. This letter is to express my support to the Dinaric Arc Parks project, starting from its exceptional value in promoting regional cooperation, environmental protection, economy, culture and tourism," says president Vujanovic in a letter sent on the 4th of July to the project manager Leon Kebe.

Podrška crnogorskog predsjednika Parkovima Dinarskog luka

Predsjednik Crne Gore Filip Vujanović dao je podršku WWF-ovom projektu Parkovi Dinarskog luka, pridruživši se tako svojim kolegama iz Hrvatske, Makedonije i Slovenije.

"Ovom prilikom želim da saopštim visoko poštovanje inicijative WWF-a u ekološkoj zaštiti Dinarida. Ovim pismom iskazujem podršku projektu 'Parkovi Dinarskog luka' polazeći od njegove izuzetne vrijednosti u promociji dobrosusjedske regionalne saradnje, ekološke zaštite prirode, ekonomije, kulture i turizma", stoji u pismu predsjednika poslanom 4. jula voditelju projekta Leonu Kebeu.

10. srp 2014.

Assessment of protected areas in Kosovo and Montenegro

Prokletije National Park
Biogradska gora National Park
WWF team visited parks Germi and Sharr in Kosovo in late May making assessment of ecosystem benefits in both parks using PA BAT methodology. With great interest we have heard good suggestions of local residents, interest groups, businesses and local authorities. After finalizing these assessments, we are proud to say PA BAT methodology was implemented in all eight countries that Dinaric Arc Parks project is covering.

The same week we went to Montenegro to have same type of workshops in two national parks - Prokletje and Biogradska Gora - by which we've completed the assessment of all five national parks in Montenegro. Biogradska Gora is in the process of preparation for the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism of EUROPARC's Federation and they have just held the third forum of stakeholders. This assessment helped them to find out where the locals see the potential for sustainable tourism. Focus of the workshops was not only on the assessment of areas for tourism and recreation, but for the entire range of values ​​- from food and water to culture, education and ecosystem services that protected area provide. Apart from the environmental aspect, the socio-economic impact is very important, because people are part of a protected area and use its resources.

During our stay in Montenegro, we visited one of the last three rainforests in Europe, Biogradska mountain, which is the largest natural value of that national park.

The next workshop will take place on August 18th in Plitvice National Park in Croatia.

Kasandra-Zorica Ivanić, WWF

Monitoring of large predators in the National Park Tara

Due to the need for more precise determination of the characteristics and population size of large predators in Serbia, a number of photo-trapsduring was set last year in the National Park Tara in Serbia. Monitoring is primarily related to brown bears and wolves, but it is also assumed that the lynx could be present in the park. Large predators are very important to the ecosystems of the National Park and are protected by national and international laws.

During this year an acquisition of additional ten photo-traps is planned with the aim of establishing the monitoring of large predators with infrared light. In addition to the possible detection of rare and endangered species, the size and density of the population can be obtained by modelling indicators on the basis of the collected data.
The advantage of photo-traps is that they can be also used to monitor other wildlife species and their habits, which are important for this protected area, such as wild goat and deer.

Tara river basin hosts the largest bear population in Serbia, where it is estimated to live 50 to 70 individuals in the whole country. In cooperation with the Faculty of Biology and the Natural History Museum in Belgrade the park administration is tracking bears with radio-telemetry (via satellite) from 2006.

Ranko Milanović
Tara NP

Lynx first recorded in Paklenica National Park

Lynx in Paklenica NP
In 2011 the Paklenica National Park initiated the use of photo traps, digital cameras, which are activated by the motion sensor. Employees of the park are setting traps close to salt licks, animal passages, puddles, etc.

During this time there have been reported following types of animals: chamois, roe deer, wild boar, rabbit, mouse, badger, marten, weasel, fox, wild cat and some bird species. From large carnivores wolf was shot several times, and the bear appeared regularly before the cameras.

Lynx was first recorded in December 2013. It is also the first official evidence of its presence in the park. Along with a few photos and a short video was recorded showing lynx haunting chamois. It is very likely that the lynx came to this area because of the chamois, whose numbers have significantly increased in recent years.

Francis Špalj, 
chief superintendent of National Park Paklenica