Biodiversity and Nature Conservation in the Western Balkans: The Acquis of the EU, the Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans
Hansjörg Brey, Executive Director, Southeast Europe Association, Munich
Simon Ilse, Director, Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Belgrade
Guillemette Vachey, Member of the Centre of Thematic Expertise on Connectivity / Networks, Environment and Regional Development, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations - NEAR, European Commission, Brussels
- Radovan Nikčević, Expert on Connectivity, Regional Cooperation Council, Sarajevo
- Goran Sekulić, Policy Officer, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Adria, Belgrade
- Pippa Gallop, Southeast Europe Energy Advisor, Bankwatch, Zagreb
The Western Balkan Countries, for historical and geographical reasons, possess a high degree of biodiversity which is unique in Europe. Yet, this biodiversity is under threat, as ongoing projects in building infrastructure, energy production, use of forest and water resources, intensive agriculture, mining, or tourist development often collide with the interests of nature conservation and the protection of biodiversity.
In this situation, the European Union provides strategies and tools to improve the situation. As part of the European Green Deal, the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 provides guidelines in this direction. On 6 October 2021, the European Council has adopted the Green Agenda Action Plan for the region, prepared under the guidance of the Regional Cooperation Council. The Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, as part of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, adopted by the European Commission, provides substantial funds, also directed at projects for the protection of nature. Civil society is supposed to play an important role in shaping and implementing the Green Agenda.
In our Panel Discussion, leading experts and representatives from the European Commission, the Regional Cooperation Council, and from civil society will discuss the state of affairs.
This panel was supposed to be part of a two days International Workshop organized by Southeast Europe Association and EuroNatur that should have started on the same day in Freising/Germany under the topic “Biodiversity and the Protection of Nature in the Western Balkans. Civil Society, (Local) Politics, International Actors and the Media in Dialogue” and that is now being postponed to spring 2022 due to the aggravating Corona pandemic in the South of Germany.
You are cordially invited to participate in our online discussion!