NATURE PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY
In terms of the REC long-term commitment to the protection of biodiversity, the activities of this program areas are focused on education, capacity strengthening, communication and outreach. REC has actively promoted the public participation and provided support in managing areas with natural values by implementing natural resources protection projects. This program activity also contributes to creation and application of local, national, and relevant international natural protection regulations. Special emphasis is placed on the activities supporting the development of rural areas in a way that is beneficial both for the population and the nature, such as product branding and capacity building of local stakeholders engaged in sustainable agriculture and tourism. The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity program aims to contribute to the preservation and appropriate management of natural values and protected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The following are the core activities conducted within the Nature Protection and Biodiversity program:
- Promoting shared concern for biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources at both national and international level;
- Providing support to the management of the protected areas in the development and evaluation of management plans, implementation of nature protection activities, etc.;
- Strengthening the role of rural communities in managing the biodiversity-rich areas, including protected areas and Natura 2000 areas;
- Strengthening the capacities of non-governmental sector, local governments, and stakeholders to take part in the environmental protection processes. NATURA 2000 and the EU acquis, participation in the nature protection decision-making processes, ecosystem services, the role of women in nature protection and other topics were in the focus of trainings organized by REC;
- Conducting public awareness campaigns and providing support to effective communication with stakeholders and local communities in order to improve understanding of specific issues and their involvement in areas, habitats and species management;
- Preparing publications, expert papers and analyses;
- Providing support in strengthening capacities of local stakeholders with respect to sustainable agriculture (production of organic food and environmentally friendly agricultural practices/production methods);
- Providing support to the development of plans and environmentally friendly tourism products, providing support to visitor management activities, education and communication, strengthening the capacities for product and protected areas branding;
- Providing support in the development and implementation of the legislative framework in the implementation of national and relevant international regulations in the field of nature protection and the implementation of international conventions (the Ramsar Convention, CITES, CBD, etc.).