30.09.2022 – Over 30 representatives from the non-governmental sector, international organizations and donors met on September 28 at Popova Shapka to discuss the potential for cooperation in the Shara-Korab-Koritnik region. The purpose of the round table was to exchange information on current projects in the region and to initiate synergies in order to improve regional sustainable development in this mountainous region.
“MES through its research and projects has been present in this region for more than two decades, we hope that in the future this region will develop even more, especially after the declaration of Shar Mountain as a National Park,” said Robertina Brajanoska, executive director of MES, in her address at the beginning of the meeting.
According to the director of the national park, Ibrahim Dehari, the park, as the youngest institution, has a lot of challenges ahead of it.
“Such meetings are particularly important for mutual exchange of experiences and support. Although the park has many challenges, we believe that rural development and nature protection require extensive cooperation from all involved, above all, we have a big job ahead of us according to the Management Plan of NP “Shar Mountain”, said Dehari while welcoming the attendees.
Sandra Wigger from Euronatur presented the model projects supported by the overarching “Sustainable future for the Shara-Korab-Koritnik region” project, which are divided into four topics: tourism, animal husbandry, beekeeping and cultivation. Additionally, she presented the efforts of the project for cross-border cooperation and exchange in the three countries on the mentioned topics.
The discussions showed that meetings of this type need to be organized more often. Current problems affecting the local population such as youth migration, lack of workforce in animal husbandry and similar challenges were part of the discussions. In addition to the donors, the representatives of the local action groups in the three countries participated in this meeting as one of the main drivers for cross-border cooperation. Within the framework of the meeting, the illustrator Zdravko Girov tried to convey and visually present some of the problems and challenges present in the region.