Dinaric Balkan Pindos Platform Conference 3

Transnational exchange platform for the management of large carnivores in the Dinaric region

Over 60 participants from all participating countries meet © Aleksandar Palace Hotel
Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, Kaja Shukova opens her meeting and expresses her support for the initiative © MoEPP

Dinaric Balkan Pindos Platform Conference 3

At the third platform conference, participants agreed a workshop statement where they made explicit their desire to work towards a legally binding treaty on large carnivore conservation and management across the region.

The meeting was opened by the Minister of environment and physical planning Kaja Shukova, who in the presence of over 60 participants expressed North Macedonia’s support of the initiative.

A breakout group on monitoring agreed that an expert DiBaPi monitoring working group should be established and continue to meet to move towards developing a common monitoring framework.


Meeting agenda

Meeting statement

MoEPP Press Release

Participants list


Session 1: Dinaric Balkan Pindos platform status and next steps

Welcome from North Macedonia
Minister Kaja Shukova, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning

Introduction and meeting aims, feedback on progress since the first meetings
Andrea Solić and Katrina Marsden, Carnivora Magna and adelphi, platform secretariat

Large carnivore management in North Macedonia
Vlatko Trpeski, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning

Balkan lynx in the Convention on Migratory Species
Iskra Stojanova, Carpathian Convention

Update from each country: Legal situation, management, critical issues, good examples

Options for an agreement on large carnivores in the Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos region
Legal aspects, Arie Trouwborst, Tilburg University

Review of conducted and ongoing connectivity projects in the territory of large carnivores in Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos region
Rok Černe, Jernej Javornik, Slovenia Forest Service

Session 2: Focus on monitoring

Introduction to the day
Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, University of Ljubljana, DivjaLabs d.o.o.

Monitoring as a key management tool
Djuro Huber, Carnivora Magna

Presentation of an example of transboundary collaboration in large carnivore population monitoring
Francesca Marucco, LIFE Wolf Alps

Advantages and disadvantages of large carnivore population monitoring using observing signs of animal presence
Jasna Jeremić, MESD, Croatia

Advantages and disadvantages of large carnivore population monitoring using photo traps
Dime Melovski, MES

Advantages and disadvantages of large carnivore population monitoring using molecular genetics
Tomaž Skrbinšek, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, DivjaLabs d.o.o.

Break out sessions
Group 1: Platform Agreement

Representatives mainly from the managing authorities (environmental and agricultural ministries) and some experts met to discuss the type of international agreement needed to sustain the platform’s activities. There was general agreement that in the long-term, an international treaty would provide the best basis for long-lasting exchange and collaboration. Nonetheless, some expressed reservations about the support of ministers and foreign affairs departments who are not yet well aware of the initiative. Members of the group proposed that a two-phase approach could be tried, firstly involving ministers to a greater extent by encouraging them to sign a Memorandum of Understanding stating that they would work together on a future treaty. Participants agreed to put this in writing in the Workshop Statement.

Group 2: Focus on monitoring

The workshop focused on large carnivore population monitoring in the Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos region produced some promising ideas for improving the monitoring of brown bear, wolf, and lynx populations in the area. Participants were divided into small groups and instructed to imagine an ideal scenario for large carnivore population monitoring in the region in 10 years. The groups came up with a range of ideas, including harmonized transboundary monitoring, joint databases, identifying important habitat corridors, and genetic monitoring of each species. Other ideas included regular meetings for information exchange, population-level coordinated monitoring using science-based methodologies, and producing an annual distribution map for the entire region based on a standardized approach for all three species. The workshop aimed to foster a strong and trustworthy partnership among all stakeholders in the region, with participants asked to brainstorm solutions without being limited by current obstacles. The participants agreed to form a task force and to meet online to plan the next steps of the collaboration.