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New start for the Dinaric Arc Initiative



The Dinaric Arc ecoregion is a unique world of nature and people, where South-Eastern Europe meets the Mediterranean. Ten years after its creation to secure the preservation of the wealth and integrity of this ecoregion, the Dinaric Arc Initiative is about to make a fresh start, renewing its vision and strategy, and to face a new raft of challenges. A meeting scheduled in Sarajevo on 11 March 2014 will set the tone for the new start.

In South-Eastern Europe, the Dinaric Arc stretches along the eastern Adriatic coast from Trieste (Italy) to Tirana (Albania), covering Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. Much of the region is still unspoilt. Vast stretches of forest that cover the Dinaric Alps, that run parallel to the coast, are home to large carnivores such as lynx, European brown bear and wolf.

International organizations - ranging from WWF to UNESCO, UNDP, IUCN, the Council of Europe, FAO, Euronatur and SNV, active in the region with a varied portfolio of projects and initiatives to secure the long-term conservation and sustainable development of this part of Europe - were concerned with the future of the Dinaric Arc. These institutions joined forces and created the Dinaric Arc Initiative (DAI) in 2004.

The DAI initiative is a broad framework of collaboration which aims to add value to the ongoing programmes and activities of all its partners, and to put in place new specific actions aiming at, inter alia, the preservation of the wealth and integrity of the Dinaric Arc ecoregion through the conservation of its biological diversity and the sustainable management of its resources.

At present, the DAI Initiative includes the following members: European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), EuroNatur, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), UNDP, UNEP, FAO, WWF, Regional Environmental Center (REC) and International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC).

During the meeting of DAI member representatives held last year in April in Austria, it was decided to establish a DAI support unit, hosted by UNEP, to renew the DAI strategy and to enter into a number of new DAI activities. As a follow-up, a meeting will take place on 11 March 2014 at the UN Building in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; it will allow for an update of current and future activities, discussions on DAI vision and strategy and, a review of the overcoming commitment challenges for the initiative.

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The Dinaric Arc initiative is backed up by the “Big Win” commitment made by the governments of the Dinaric Arc countries at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 9).