Preserving nature’s own museums in Montenegro

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As a country of national parks, Norway was happy to support Montenegro in drafting a final study of forest management in their national parks thus paving the way for keeping them healthy and beautiful.

On July 27, environmental experts gathered in Podgorica for a presentation of the base study on the forests in national parks of Montenegro. The participants agreed that the study, which represents the accumulation of data generated through exchange of experiences and field work, has paved a way for preserving forests and will also serve as a good basis for future scientific research.

For years, the state-owned National Parks of Montenegro, in charge of five national parks in the country, has been facing a challenge to improve the condition of forests in the parks to ensure a balance of protection, environmental, social and economic functions, but also to ensure the sustainability. Forests make up 45% of the Montenegrin territory.

Thanks to the Norwegian government support, after 20 years The National Parks of Montenegro hasmanaged to collect all the relevant dendrometric data based on which it will be possible to look at potentials and opportunities.

“We have also obtained the records of vulnerability, hot spots and other potential sites that may be subject to further research or planning future protection and development of forests in the national parks of Montenegro,” said Slobodan Stijepovic, associate for forest protection at the National Parks of Montenegro.

According to him, they have first gathered some 40 experts in the field of forestry to discuss and detect burning issues but also find solutions on managing forests. The round table was followed by study visit to the neighbouring Croatia due to similar managing model and also harmonised legislation in line with EU standards. The lesson learnt was that the Croatians insist on the tourist function while nature reserves are managed with the application of conservation measures.

Stijepovic added that they had conducted some activities in the sample plots but that the main part was forest inventory.

Forests are key to people’s health, wildlife, and our planet. They are home to many plant and animal species but also one of the last lines of defence against climate change. As long as the National Parks of Montenegro is taking good care of their forests, we will enjoy their natural beauty with the abstract blend of shade, greenery, activity and tranquility.