Who we are
The Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos region is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Europe. In this biodiversity hotspot, protected species and habitats thrive. These include brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus) and Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), including the endangered subspecies Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus).
Large carnivores provoke strong emotions. On the one hand, they represent nature and the wildness that many lack in their day to day lives. On the other hand, they come into conflict with human needs (e.g. by depredating livestock) and bears can even occasionally threaten human safety. Because of this, large carnivores became almost extinct in Western Europe and are just now making a comeback.
In the Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos region, populations survived and people have many generations experience living with large carnivores. Nonetheless, conflicts exist and there is a need to discuss management with those impacted (e.g. hunters, farmers, conservationists and tourism operators). While some large carnivore populations are doing well in the region, others are highly threatened and additional efforts are needed to maintain populations.
Large carnivores do not respect national borders. Wolves for example, range over vast areas and are not only confined to parks or mountain ranges. Given the extensive ranges of these species, transnational coordination for their management is needed to enable a long-term basis for their conservation.
Large-scale cross-border collaboration remains none-the-less challenging in the Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos region which includes a range of EU and non-EU countries, different cultures, languages, scripts and religions and which over time has seen more than its fair share of conflict.
A final challenge is the lack of capacity for biodiversity management which tends to receive lower attention than more immediate political and social challenges. Capacity building and knowledge exchange is therefore important.
The Dinaric-Balkan-Pindos Large Carnivore Initiative aims to provide a long-term basis for collaboration between the countries involved by establishing an exchange platform; a co-ordinational agreement; a means to exchange information on initiatives and projects in the region; and good practice examples on large carnivore management.
Skopje, North Macedonia, third meeting of the platform
Cross-border Croatia-Bosnia Herzegovina thematic meeting on developing a joint monitoring and field monitoring network
German Federal Environment Ministry’s Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) agrees further financing of the pilot platform
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, second meeting of the platform highlights the most important topic areas and agrees on continued collaboration with the wider Dinaric Balkan Pindos region
Mavrovo National Park, N. Macedonia, thematic meeting bringing together decision makers and hunters
background report published: Large Carnivores in the Dinarides: Management, Monitoring, Threats and Conflicts
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, thematic meeting on bear intervention teams
Ljubljana, Slovenia, first meeting of the Dinaric Regional Large Carnivore Platform agrees aims of the platform and main topics
German Federal Environment Ministry’s Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) provides pilot financing for the platform
Budva, Montenegro EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores regional meeting leads to the signing of the Budva statement