IUCN Workshop on the Protected Areas of Montenegro: Collaboration on the issue of planning and management

The MedWet Coordinator participated in the Workshop organised by IUCN and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro on 16th to 18th of July 2012, on the issue of planning and management of protected areas. Apart from representing the MedWet Initiative, the meeting also gave the opportunity to meet with the MedWet Focal Point in the Ministry and to propose new fields of cooperation between MedWet and Montenegro, other than the NEREUS project which already in progress.

Issues discussed in this workshop covered both the Adriatic region and the specific situation in Montenegro. The main presentations were centered around existing projects on the marine and coastal environment in Montenegro as well as the existing legislation and the marine and coastal protected areas of Albania and Slovenia. Also, on the international criteria on selection of sites and representative networks, the Alboran sea process and options for Montenegro to fulfill CBD (Aichi) and Barcelona Conventions commitments and the RAC/SPA regional project on legislation.

Comparative elements between Slovenia, Albania and Montenegro were discussed as well as the MedWet Initiative experience and tools.

IUCN will assist Montenegro through requests made preferably through the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, with any relevant information concerning the conservation and management of nature and natural resources,. The ongoing process developed in collaboration with RAC/SPA on legislation and institutions related to marine and coastal environment will be finalized through a workshop to be organized with the Ministry and involving all the concerned administrations, institutions and stakeholders of the country.

As options for the future, the expected cooperation could be based mainly on workshops and/or experts technical advice, on the following topics:

1.    Red List and Species Action Plan Workshop. The country needs to develop its inventory of the terrestrial and marinebiodiversity and to evaluate the status of species in relation to the Red List mechanism.
2.    Terrestrial and Marine Protected Areas Workshop: identification, selection, management monitoring, administrative systems and options for funding: general approach, regional examples and options for networking at regional and national level.
3.    International and regional instruments workshop (Conventions such as CBD, Barcelona Convention, EU Maritime Strategy Directive, Ramsar and other regional instruments) and Marine Spatial Planning Workshop on sea use mapping and GIS development.
4.    International labels and categories of conservation: Tourism and ecotourism terrestrial environment and marine environment
5.    Cross border cooperation
6.    Water dialogue and wetlands, Wetlands Observatory and awareness.

MedWet proposed cooperation in the fields of Integrated Coastal Zones Management and establishment of the Marine Protected Areas process by contributing its experience through the member NGO’s and IOP’s, with other Mediterranean countries, through the dissemination of existing tools (National inventory system, multi-stakeholders dialogue process, environmental education tools etc) and involvement in useful, potential future projects (GlobWetland project etc) and the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory.