PI for National parks of Montenegro signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 17 representatives of national and local institutions and civil society organizations with the goal of preservation of priority species within Italy-Albania-Montenegro cross border cooperation on 16th of February in Petrovac, Montenegro.
Partners on LASPEH Project capitalization organized two panel discussions and one study visit to the newest protected habitat Katič in the vicinity of the cross-border event’s venue. The model for establishing closer cooperation between institutions who directly or indirectly manage protected areas was presented at the event, as well as the establishment of collaborative network between partners in the cross border area.
In the introduction speech, director of PI for National parks of Montenegro - Vladimir Martinović, highlighted that PI National parks for Montenegro must be the leader in preservation of nature and the necessity of permanent protection of the most representative areas in Montenegro - national parks.
Within the first panel discussion, initiated by the presentations of national parks led by Dragiša Damjanović, realized projects were presented (in which National parks are acting as project partners), accompanied by constructive debate on integration of EU directives into national legislative frameworks. Arina Maraš from the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism highlighted the efforts of Montenegro to close chapter 27 of negotiations with the European Union. She pointed out that 47% of Montenegro is mapped within Natura 2000 area, and more than 53,5% of Montenegrin territory is nominated for the regime of special protection, while 32 habitats are officially registered as Emerald habitat. Rocky Malatesta presented best practices implemented in the case of the coastal area of Torre Guacceto, whereas Alessandro Mariggiò presented best practices of eastern coast habitat Taranto in the municipality of Manduria. Prominent speakers presented the best conservation practices in the regional parks of Puglia. Marija Bajković from PI Maritime Good Montenegro presented the new coastal protected areas in Montenegro and the marine resources management system, as well as the activities carried out so far in order to preserve coastal habitats.
Participants had the opportunity to visit the newest protected area Katič. The visit was led by Miliana Dabović and Danijela Bokan, who emphasized the importance of preserving this area, introduced the guests to the historical and touristic importance of the locality, after which the basic characteristics and indicators were presented, as a result of which Katič was declared a protected area.
The study visit was followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in which the signatories expressed their willingness and desire to establish strategic cooperation in the field of protection and preservation of priority species and habitats in the cross-border, i.e. program area.
At the very end of the event, two panels were organized with the aim of examining the possibility of future cooperation. Michele Lastilla (The Regional Natural Park Dune Costiere, from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo - Italy), Holta Çopani (Agency for Protected Area in Albania) and Slobodan Stijepović (PI for National Parks of Montenegro) took part in the first. And in the second: Francesco Porcelli (University of Bari), Nevila Bushati (University "Ljuđ Gurakući" in Shkodër) and Maša Vučinić (PI for National Parks of Montenegro).