ECO KARST project is making a great progress towards sustainable development of karst areas in Danube region. After successful workshops organized in Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia, CENER21, in cooperation with Cantonal Public Institution for the Protected Natural Areas Sarajevo also organized the first workshop with project stakeholders.
Workshop was held on June 21, 2018 in the educational centre of the Bijambare Protected Landscape. More than 30 stakeholders from the local government, business, academia, local population and general public attended the workshop.
The main objectives of the workshop were to inform relevant stakeholders about the ECO KARST project, present the most relevant ecosystem services existing in this region as well as to identify promising business development opportunities for the local inhabitants.
The workshop was opened with welcome speech by Mr. Osman Delić, director of the Cantonal Public Institution for the Protected Natural Areas Sarajevo, who greeted all participants and guests from Slovenian Forest Services, Zavita and Global Nature Fund.
Mr. Akif Fazlić, the major of Municipality Ilijaš, greeted everybody and shortly reflected on the best practices in the member countries of European Union, expressing his hope that innovative business ideas will be implemented in the impact area of Bijambare Protected Landcape.
Mrs. Zijada Krvavac, expert advisor of the Minister for Physical Planning, Construction and Environmental Protection in Canton Sarajevo, expressed her satisfaction with the ECO KARST project and results achieved so far. Mrs. Krvavac highlighted the significance of recognizing the best business practices in EU that need and should be implemented in the nature protected areas across Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the first part of the workshop, participants had a chance to learn more about key ecosystem services in protected karst areas. Guided by an experienced facilitator, participants evaluated the most important ecosystem services for the local development and identified positive and negative factors influencing potential business opportunities.
More details about “Pro Biodiversity Businesses” (PBB) and about benefits of and motivation to launch a Pro Biodiversity Business, participants could hear from Mrs. Andrea Peiffer. Mrs. Peiffer talked about the main principles of PBB and showed examples of some of the best PBB practices in the world.
“I am very satisfied with the first stakeholder workshop in the Protected Landscape Bijambare. Representatives from various sectors, public authorities and politics discussed opportunities for the sustainable development of the region. The results of the workshop are basis for future activities aiming at combining the protection of beautiful and valuable landscape with development of economically successful businesses”, said Andrea Peiffer from Global Nature Fund.
Inspired by the best PBB practices, participants identified potential business ideas that could be developed in the impact areas of Bijambare Protected Landscape. A fruitful discussion resulted with many interesting ideas for the tourism sector, non-timber forest products, wood products and agricultural products.
Valuable information gathered during the first workshop will be integrated in the Action Plan for Bijambare Protected Landscape – one of the key results of ECO KARST project. The Action Plan will be proposed for further integration in relevant planning and strategic documents. This step will be crucial for local decision makers to recognize challenges and opportunities and, finally, to provide financial support to successful implementation of suggested actions.