On 10 and 11 December in Vevchani a meeting of the jury responsible for the selection of projects for the education of the local population and raising public awareness of the proper use of natural resources of Jablanica was held. The awarded projects will be implemented during 2015.

The jury was membered by representatives of MES, EuroNatur from Germany, the Society for the Protection and Preservation of the environment in Albania (PPNEA), and a representative of Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group of South Eastern Europe (SWG). From a total of 12 proposals jury selected the following projects:

–  “Creating a network of environmental organisations in Struga and Vevchani” – Enhalon, Struga;
–  “Strengthening the capacities of the Municipality of Vevchani for organised, systematic and harmonised protection of natural values ​​of Jablanica” – Municipality of Vevchani;
–  “Youth in movement” – Mountaineering Ecological Society – Zakamen, Struga;
–  “Mount Jablanica – source of natural resources” – Pharmacy Lekofarm, Struga;
–  “To protect our Mount Jablanica for a happier childhood” – Soroptimist Club Association, Struga.

The Macedonian Ecological Society together with other jury members congratulates all organisations and wishes them a successful project implementation.

MES has been implementing the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme ever since 2006 together with PPNEA – Albania, EuroNatur – Germany, KORA – Switzerland, with financial support from the MAVA Foundation – Switzerland. Its main objective is the conservation of the Balkan lynx native population in Macedonia and Albania.

As part of the project, Jablanica with its natural values ​​has been identified as an important cross-border area for protection, and it is part of the Balkan Green Belt. Within the project’s scope, MES is working on the valorisation of mountain’s natural values, promotion of sustainable use of natural resources, and direct involvement of the locals in conservation efforts through the implementation of small grants programmes. Several small grants projects for the Jablanica-Shebenik Mountain Range will be funded in Albania, encompassing the Balkan Lynx Recovery Program.

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