International cooperation NATURA 2000
Office for European Integration of Serbia and the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary, have organized a seminar on Natura 2000, on 19th and 20th March 2012. The seminar was organized on the basis of the Annual Plan of Cooperation and the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the European Integration Office and the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary, and was selected in accordance with training needs assessment conducted by the Office for European Integration once a year using a questionnaire which was sent to members of the subgroup of the coordinating body for Serbia's EU accession process.
The participants were representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning, Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia, Provincial Institute for Nature Protection, Faculty of Forestry, managers of protected areas and national parks, as well as representatives of Faculty of Biology and NGO "Young Researchers of Serbia".
Colleagues from the Ministry of Rural Development of Hungary informed the participants about the establishment and funding of NATURA 2000 in Hungary, management plans for Natura 2000, implementation of the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive, and reporting obligations under the EU directives on nature protection.
It was pointed out that for the establishment of Natura 2000 important are good regulations, stable and professional national environmental organizations, support of the European Union and the existing network of protected areas. It is necessary to develop a database on the state level with an assessment of areas that contain habitat types in Annex I and Annex II species and the relative importance of each area at national level - Annex III (Chapter 1) of the Habitats Directive and establish a database with an assessment of areas of relative significance at the level of EU - Annex III (Chapter 2) by biogeographical regions. In support of the EU, the Republic of Hungary implemented two PHARE project. The first was a twinning project with Finland and Spain to strengthen administrative capacity. The second project relates to the process of forming the Natura 2000 network and includes habitat mapping, a national ecological network and protected areas. Sources of funding for Natura 2000 sites in Hungary are LIFE + programs and structural funds, such as the European Regional Development Fund - ERFA and the European Fund for Agriculture and Rural Development - EMVA.
A presentation was held on the legal framework for the establishment of Natura 2000 network, the process of obtaining permits for plans and investments, the procedure of imact assessment of plans and investments in NATURA 2000 areas, the measures of compensation and subsequent reporting to the European Commission. In the process of formation and functioning of the Natura 2000 network conflicts occur. Hungary faced with resistance from the sectors of agriculture, forestry, water, mining, transport, industry and defense, and the private sector in addition to facing the conflict with EU guidelines.
Colleagues also presented management plans for NATURA 2000 sites in Hungary, starting from the EU Biodiversity Strategy goals (2020) and their state regulations. The management plans provide assistance in meeting the obligations for protection prescribed by EU directives, and serve as a means of communication and reducing conflict.