Development of a national ecological network Macedonia
The results of this project boosted the implementation of the national ecological network and awareness of the ecological network concept in the Republic of Macedonia and contributed to the country’s efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity.
The main objective of the project was to develop a National Ecological Network in Macedonia (MAK-NEN) as part of the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN). To achieve this, the project:
1. mapped the ecological corridors and restoration areas of national importance in Macedonia and connected them with the existing core areas and buffer zones to provide ecological connectivity;
2. promoted the PEEN and ecological networks through development of a Management Plan for an ecological corridor for large carnivores, with special focus on the Brown bear (Ursus arctos), involving key stakeholders (such as ministries, national institutions, landowners, forestry officers, national park management, local municipalities, local people). As a basis for this work, a report on the population status of the Brown bear in Macedonia was prepared, compiling all reliable data on its status, ecology and biology;
3. raised awareness about the newly prepared MAK-NEN amongst all stakeholders through a national campaign. Specific messages included:
- contribution and role of Macedonian biodiversity in relation to global biodiversity;
- ecological networks and their additional values, e.g. their role in climate change mitigation, social and economic benefits;
- MAK-NEN map (see on the right) and its use;
- integration of ecological networks into sectoral policies, e.g. pro-biodiversity businesses in core areas and buffer zones, forestry, urban biodiversity, spatial planning, agriculture, water management, construction and transport (see background leaflet on the right);
- ‘Bear Corridor Management Plan’ (on the right) as a vehicle for the better understanding of the bear’s ecological functions, better acceptance of the species' needs and raising awareness of and willingness to accept the implementation of the ‘Bear Corridor Management Plan’.
The project duration was three years, from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2011.
The Macedonian Ecological Society (MES): www.mes.org.mk.
The project was funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BBI-Matra 2008/027).