Combining biodiversity conservation and local development in Macedonia

The mountain ranges in Eastern Macedonia are a biodiversity hot spot of international importance. National, regional and local institutions are supported to cope with the challenge of conserving this natural richness and at the same time to provide support to the further development for rural communities in the region. The programme supports strategic interventions at national level in order to improve the institutional context related to biodiversity and nature conservation, and to reach the NATURA 2000 requirements (EU pre-condition).
In its first phase (2012 – 2016) the project put high emphasis on filling the knowledge gap related to biodiversity and natural values of the region and produced important strategic and planning documents at national and regional level: the National Strategy for Nature Conservation, a Draft Spatial Plan as well as a Tourism Development Strategy for the East Planning Region. On the local level the project implemented a diverse range of small pilot activities related to nature conservation, agrobiodiversity and tourism development. Due to the close collaboration with its partners from different sectors, the project established a strong and trustful partnership providing a promising starting point for the second phase. The implementation for the second phase was therefore handed over to consortium partner of phase 1, whereas HELVETAS will only have a backstopping role to the local partners in this second phase.

This is a project mandate implemented on behalf of SDC.