Western Balkans and Turkey are identified as being Biodiversity hotspots by the IUCN. The particular features of interest being the extensive mountain areas, relatively unspoilt river and lake systems and the coastline. In the Western Balkans in particular these resources are frequently covering the territory of several countries and their effective protection and management requires good transboundary cooperation. These areas support significant populations of endemic species, large carnivores and are of value for migratory birds. The biodiversity of this region is under threat from the impacts of development, particularly for tourism, hydroelectricity, and abandonment and decline of agricultural land.
The conference targets senior practitioners, decision makers and negotiators engaged in biodiversity policy and its technical implementation in the administrations of the EPPA beneficiaries. The event will be attended by the representatives from the European Commission as well as from international institutions such as: GIZ, Birdlife, Euronatur, Riverwatch, UNEP, IUCN.
The conference will focus on creating interactions between the participating stakeholders. Work will be structured around moderated discussion panels, and open discussions between all attendees.
Expected results of the conference
- EPPA beneficiaries involved in a new policy dialogue structured around the EU New Green Deal for Nature and People. EPPA fits into the bigger picture into the Green Agenda within EU enlargement.
- Better mutual understanding in Western Balkans and Turkey, in the run-up to the CBD-COP15, regarding priorities for commitments covering national and transboundary action.
- Identified best practices and future options of transboundary cooperation in biodiversity sector within the region and beyond.
- Better understanding of the need for biodiversity policy to be supported by the integration of actions across wider policy areas e.g. land-use change, pollution, climate change forestry and fisheries.
- Established contact group to support preparations and to draft final proposals/positions for the expected ministerial conference in 2020.