In the context of the ongoing EU accession of the Western Balkan countries, the EPPA Project team has developed a study that identified conservation areas of high transboundary importance, focused on the large carnivores (bears, wolfs, lynx) and explored the level of existing landscape connections between them.
As a result, the study proposes the main green corridors and core areas that should be preserved and managed to safeguard the region’s biodiversity and natural value. This is expected to contribute to the implementation of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which stipulates the building of a coherent Trans-European Nature Network and the implementation of an ambitious EU Nature Restoration Plan.
The study proposes set of recommendations for policy, technical, social, economic and communication measures for the EU institutions and the Beneficiaries, among other stakeholders.
Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director at DG Environment in the European Commission says in the foreword to the study ‘We understand now the many functions that nature provides and on which our societies rely – purifying water, regulating climate cycles, ensuring the fertility of soils and the pollination of our food crops to name but a few. It is also widely understood today that once ecosystems are damaged, some of their services may be lost forever.’
The study was authored by V. Vassilev, with technical inputs from G. Popgeorgiev, N. Hanley, A. Diku, A. Vukovic, J. Miljic, A. Dorfer and A. Stavrevska-Panajotova. The line Ministries responsible for environment in EPPA Beneficiaries contributed with providing necessary data.
The study is available HERE.