DBU aktuell No. 08 | 2019 | English

Information on Grant Support Activities of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt)

Gebirgszug Sharr © Dr. Alexander Bittner (DBU)
The Sharr/Šar Planina/Korab-Koritnik mountain chain, which is located on the border between North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania

1.) Environmental protection along the Green Belt in the Balkans

The strain on our natural resources is growing, both in urban centres as well as in remote regions. One of these remote regions is the Sharr/Šar Planina/Korab-Koritnik mountain chain, which is located along the European Green Belt on the border between North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. For centuries, the region has been shaped by traditional agricultural practices and is one of the most valuable natural resources in the Balkan region.

The forest ecosystem, which is still largely intact, and the habitats above the tree line provide valuable ecosystem services such as clean water, medicinal plants, and erosion protection for the inhabitants of the region. For this reason, the establishment of a transnational nature reserve in the region has been debated for around 20 years. The  Kosovan and Albanian parts of the mountain chain are already protected.

With the support of the DBU, since 2019, the EuroNatur Foundation has been working on a project together with the Macedonian Ecological Society in North Macedonia, Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania, and the Finch NGO in Kosovo, to develop concepts and measures for natural conservation and to promote sustainable development in the Sharr/Šar Planina/Korab-Koritnik region. The overarching aim of this project is to identify new solutions and tools that can be used to adequately master the future challenges of protecting the biodiversity in the region.