Innovative ideas for cross-border protected area

“The cornerstones for a tri-national protected area in the Šar Mountains have been laid – now this concept has to come to life”, says EuroNatur project manager Thies Geertz. To pick up ideas to implement in their own project, local stakeholders from Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo visited Gori?ko Nature Park in Slovenia at the borders to Austria and Hungary. The study tour was organised by EuroNatur.

Participants of the study tour to Gori?ko Nature Park

© Thies Geertz / EuroNatur

The Šar Mountains’ unique landscape in the border region of Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo is among the most precious natural treasures of the Balkan Green Belt and one of the last habitats of the critically endangered Balkan Lynx. EuroNatur and its partners are aiming at transnational protection and common sustainable development of the Šar region. The five-day study tour is part of a project started by EuroNatur in cooperation with conservation NGOs PPNEA, MES and FINCH in November 2012. This project is in turn part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) according to a parliamentary mandate.

In order to secure the population’s acceptance for a future protected area, local stakeholders were integrated into the planning process from the very beginning. During several workshops, mayors of project area communities, representatives of national park and forestry authorities, as well as members of local NGOS, together with EuroNatur and its partners developed guiding principles for a cross-border protected area in the Šar and neighbouring Korab Mountains. The recent study tour to Gori?ko Nature Park in Slovenia and the adjacent protected areas in Hungary and Austria demonstrated numerous examples to the participants of how natural resources can be protected effectively across the borders, and how the local population can directly benefit from nature conservation.

More on EuroNatur’s work to protect the Šar Mountains

How you can help


Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Sustaining membership

EuroNatur focuses on long-term nature conservation projects instead of quick fixes. With your regular donations, you give us the planning security we need.


Skavica mega dam: Albanian court to scrutinise special law for U.S. contractor Bechtel

++ Constitutional complaint filed by NGOs accepted for trial ++ First milestone in fight against one of Europe’s largest reservoirs ++ Thousands of…

Growing opposition to Albanian airport

++ Bern Convention calls on Albania to stop airport construction near Narta Lagoon ++ Project in Vjosa Delta endangers thousands of migratory birds ++…

EU Commission targets the wolf

Ursula von der Leyen warns of allegedly "dangerous wolves" - nature conservation organisations criticise misleading statements and dubious data…

Romanian forests: EuroNatur calls for a logging moratorium

+++ Open letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius calls for a logging moratorium in protected areas to end destruction of Romanian forests +++ Fourth…

Controversial airport construction in Albanian protected area casts shadow as far as Munich

++ Operating company Munich Airport International (MAI) is linked to illegal Vlora airport ++ Construction to take place in protected area of special…

Swimming for the monk seal

The Croatian free water swimmer Dina Levačić has been swimming in potential monk seal territories. Her campaign is aimed at drawing attention to the…

Wolf Offspring confirmed in the Black Forest

++ Photo trap image from the community of Schluchsee provides evidence of offspring ++ First wolf pack in over 150 years in Baden-Württemberg ++

Stork Village meeting in Tykocin, Poland

It was an anniversary celebrated in style: For the 20th annual meeting, representatives of the European Stork Villages met for the first time in the…

A slight sigh of relief for the Dalmatian pelicans

The Dalmatian pelicans at Lake Skadar are breeding successfully. This is all the more gratifying because last year's breeding season was disastrous.