With a decision of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Osogovo Mountains become the first protected landscape (protected area category V) and the first bigger protected area in the country declared after the Galichica National Park in 1958.
The long-term research of the natural values as part of the Nature Conservation Programme (NCP), the application of the Swiss experience in such processes and the participative approach with the engagement of various relevant stakeholders contributed to the success of this process. The presence of numerous internationally and nationally important species and habitats, the specific geomorphological phenomena, the cultural heritage as well as the ancient interaction between man and nature which resulted in the appearance of unique landscapes, make the Osogovo Mountains particularly worthy of conservation.
The Osogovo Mountains are an important area for plants, important area for birds, Emerald area and is part of the European Green Belt. In the Osogovo Mountains there are 9 different types of landscapes. Most characteristic is the Osogovo mountain rural landscape, which is particularly valuable as a core area, but is also important as a corridor for large wild animals.
The declaration of the Osogovo Mountains as a protected area in the category of protected landscape is the start of a more structured approach for social and economic promotion and development of the Osogovo region. In addition to the local development of the seven municipalities included in the PL, a process is also underway for systemic conservation of natural resources in the Osogovo Mountains.
In accordance with the Government’s decision, PE National Forests will be in charge of integrated management of the protected area Osogovo Mountains, while NCP will provide additional support during the development of the Management Plan and for strengthening the capacities of the Management body.
The process for declaration of the Osogovo Mountains as protected area was done as part of the Nature Conservation Programme (NCP), a project by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), coordinated by Farmahem in Skopje. Local expertise in the process is provided by the Macedonian Ecological Society – MES, with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning – MoEPP.