Last week, the 4th partnership meeting of the BalkanDetox LIFE project was held in Sremski Karlovci, Serbia from the 4th -6th of April. The main aims of the meeting were to discuss the technical, financial, and communication management and reporting of the project as well as the necessary next actions that need to be taken. During the meeting, partners discussed and reflected on the overall project implementation since the last in-person partnership meeting that was held back in April, 2021.

MES team members presented the achievements so far as well as the necessary next steps for the project in North Macedonia. All partner organizations exchanged similar obstacles and ongoing issues that they are facing with certain project activities in their respective countries. These discussions were especially helpful as they allowed space for brainstorming and problem-solving sessions to take place.

An exciting point were the Wildlife Crime Academy courses that had taken place in the past year and will continue to be organized with a new cohort this upcoming summer in Spain. The new cohort from North Macedonia will be including representatives from the Veterinary Inspectorate, State Environmental Inspectorate, and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

An important note of discussion was the pressing need to officialize the National Working groups and adopt the National Anti-Poisoning Road Maps in each country. These activities would help in creating the national standard operational protocols in cases of wildlife poisoning. In North Macedonia this kind of protocol is urgently needed so as to ensure effective and efficient responses to such poisoning incidents.

The organizations had the opportunity to work on the financial issues and ask the financial team of the Coordinating beneficiary questions. Concerning the communication session, a general overview of the projects online presence was presented as well as the new website. During the next month, the general public can expect the website to have translations in all the participating Balkan organization languages, including Macedonian! Exciting key deliverables are planned for the upcoming period which include project materials that can be handed out to the general public and key stakeholders, as well as educational videos concerning the detrimental affects of wildlife poisoning.

Overall, participants of the meeting left in high spirits and motivation for the important work that still lays ahead!

The BalkanDetox LIFE project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union.

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