The First Regional Meeting of EU Platform for Coexistence between People and Large Carnivorous

The first regional meeting of EU Platform for Coexistence between people and large carnivorous organised by the WWF Adria, IUCN-LCIE, Parks Dinaride, Centre for Protection and Research of Birds in Montenegro and EuroNatur was held on 6th November 2018 in Budva (Montenegro), which initiated cooperation in the area of the whole population of bears, wolf and lynx in this region.

Fifty participants from fifteen countries concluded that the key importance are cross border cooperation, exchange of knowledge and experiences and population management on the whole area of Dinaric Region regardless of currently different practices. 

Dinara-Pindos-Balkan is the area where a stable population of wolves and bears dwells, fragile population of Eurasian lynx and critically endangered species of Balkan Lynx. The region includes ten countries, members of the EU and countries that are not members of the EU; Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo*, Macedonia**, Bulgaria and Greece. Current management of wolves, bears and lynx is carried out in national frameworks, but the animals do not know the state borders.

Preservation, monitoring and management large carnivorous significantly vary between different countries, regions, including EU member states and those who are not. Currently, there is no common platform at a regional level for consideration and coordination of cross border management, resolving joint threats and linking various stakeholders. It is considered as significant disadvantage for long-term successful management of large carnivorous population in the region. 

Besides that, the legal framework of certain countries has not been yet harmonized with the EU and international standards, management plans do not exist, which could make the process of integration in the European Union more difficult for some countries. Therefore, the European Commission has initiated setting up EU Platform in order to facilitate implementation of EU regulations on the protection of nature and enable dialogue of all stakeholders.

* Appointment is without prejudice to the position of status and in accordance with UNSCR 1244/99 and Opinion of International Tribunal on Decleration on Kosovo Indepndence.

** Name Macedonia is used for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia