About the programme

The Nature Conservation Programme in North Macedonia is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), intended to assist the Republic of North Macedonia in the conservation of its outstanding biodiversity and natural ecosystems through promotion of their sustainable use and management. The approach for realisation of the Programme activities is holistic, by including the stakeholders and simultaneous intervention at 3 levels: national, regional, and local. The Programme shall help the Republic of North Macedonia in meeting the NATURA 2000 requirements, one of the conditions for EU accession.

Phase I of the Programme (November 2012 – December 2016) supported the activities for securing strategic and planning documents which shall assist the sustainable use of land during planning and management with the development of the Bregalnica region, as well as ecological gap analysis and ecological sensitivity map for the Bregalnica river basin. These documents represent the basis for realisation of specific activities for nature conservation and sustainable management with natural resources. In addition, part of the activities was directed towards capacity strengthening of the key stakeholders at regional and local level, as well as towards public awareness raising regarding nature conservation.

In Phase II of the Programme (January 2017 – December 2020), the activities shall be focussed towards:

  • Capacity strengthening at all levels for efficient implementation of national legislation for nature conservation and integrated management of natural resources;
  • Applying a regional approach for nature conservation and sustainable management with natural resources in the Bregalnica region;
  • Supporting citizens and SMEs from the Bregalnica region and SMEs of the Bregalnica region to develop offer for environment – friendly tourism activities/services and to sell sustainably produced goods in a socially inclusive way.

This is a so-called umbrella programme that integrates all activities in the Bregalnica region and takes holistic (comprehensive, eco-systemic) approach to the implementation of activities for nature conservation and sustainable local development.
In addition, this Programme also works in direct coordination with other programmes being implemented in the region for the purposes of preventing duplication / overlapping of some activities and enabling shared use of produced results, data, and documentation.

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