Slowly but surely first steps for network NATURA 2000 were made in Macedonia. The Center for environmental research and information “Eco-sense” within the project “Together for Natura 2000”, held two seminars for associations working in the field of environmental protection.
The first seminar was held from 7 – 8.05.2011, in hotel Metropol, Struga, and was dedicated to Natura 2000 in its entirety, introduction what the Natura 2000 represents and why it is important for Macedonia to work towards its implementation. Lecturers at the seminar were Andrea Stefan from Croatia (WWF) and Andrey Kovachev from Bulgaria (Society for the wild fauna “Balkani”). Special place on the seminar took activities for development of ecological network NATURA 2000 in Macedonia and the importance of Ber convention (designed for Emerald areas – Emerald’s policy on protection of rare and endangered species of animals, plants and birds and it is the counterpart of the Natura 2000, but it is designed for those countries that are candidates for EU), which were presented by Robertina Brajkovska from “MED” organization. The conclusion of this seminar was that it is necessary to create a grouping of civil society organizations from Macedonia, who will work alongside the local implementation of the NATURA 2000.
The second seminar was held from 27 – 05.29.2011, at City Park Hotel, Skopje and it was dedicated to building coalitions, partnerships and joint activities of civil associations. Lecturers were from Poland, Pavel Pavlachik (Naturalists Club Poland), and Andrey Kovachev from Bulgaria (Society for the wild fauna “Balkani”) and they shared their experiences in the application process Natura 2000. The rest of the seminar was aimed at planning the following activities.
Result from the two seminars was a group that will work on Natura 2000 in Macedonia. It is composed of 14 civic organizations, including: Eco Osogovija – Probistip, Green Power – Veles, Biosfera – Bitola, Grashnica – Ohrid, MEZ – Gostivar, Ekumena – Strumica, Eco-sense – Skopje, IDSB – Skopje, Greener – Skopje, CeProSARD – Skopje, SD PEONI – Skopje, MED- Skopje, KALEN Platform – Skopje and Eco Skop – Skopje. The group had its first meeting on 20.06.2011 in the premises of British Council in Skopje and decide in the future to operate under the name Coalition “Natura 2000” .