Nature Conservation Programme. Macedonia

The Nature Conservation Programme (NCP) in Macedonia financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is supporting nature conservation and local development in the eastern part of the country, in particular the upper Bregalnica Region. The programme supports strategic interventions at national level in order to improve the institutional context related to biodiversity and nature conservation, and to reach the NATURA 2000 requirements (EU pre-condition).
The NCP is implemented by FARMAHEM, a privately owned company, with a backstopping mandate from HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.

PHASE 1 (2012 - 2016)

During its first phase, the Nature Conservation Programme (NCP) was coordinated by a programme team composed of an international team leader from HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, a national team leader and 3 programme coordinator from FARMAHEM in Macedonia.
In its first phase (2012 – 2016) the NCP put high emphasis on filling the knowledge gap related to biodiversity and natural values of the region and produced important strategic and planning documents at national and regional level: the National Strategy for Nature Conservation, a Draft Spatial Plan as well as a Tourism Development Strategy for the East Planning Region. On the local level the NCP implemented a diverse range of small pilot activities related to nature conservation, agrobiodiversity and tourism development. Due to the close collaboration with its partners from different sectors, NCP established a strong and trustful partnership providing a promising starting point for the second phase.

PHASE 2 (2017-2020)

For the second phase of four years HELVETAS has taken over a backstopping role. The lead for the project implementation has been handed over to FARMAHEM in Macedonia.

Project goal
The Bregalnica region safeguards its natural values and promotes socio-economic development that is sustainable and inclusive.
Expected Outcomes
  1. Institutions at all levels efficiently implement national legislation for nature conservation and integrated management of natural resources
  2. A management body for the Bregalnica protected area(s) applies, jointly with local, regional and national institutions and the population, integrative approaches for nature conservation.
  3. Citizens of the Bregalnica region have increased income and quality of life through promotion and selling of ecologically and sustainably produced products and services in a socially inclusive way
Key outputs
For Outcome 1:
  1. Elaboration and application of the mechanisms for Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES), as one of the priorities identified in the National Strategy for Nature Protection, are facilitated.
  2. Preparation, promotion and application of a regional and integrative forest management plan, as one measure for sustainable management of natural resources, are facilitated
For Outcome 2:
  1. A regional approach for nature conservation and sustainable development in the Bregalnica region is agreed among key stakeholders and implemented, balancing their multiple needs, uses and potentials (economic, social and environmental).
  2. The technical and organizational capacities of the Centre for Development of the East Planning Region (CDEPR) and the municipalities, regarding sustainable management of natural resources and fund- raising, are enhanced.
  3. Public awareness on the value of nature of the Bregalnica region, its sustainable use and associated benefits for socio-economic development is increased
For Outcome 3:
  1. Initiatives for the sustainable management of natural resources in the Bregalnica Region are implemented and up-scaled
  2. Environment-friendly tourism development in the EPR, based on the Strategy for Tourism Development of EPR, is supported
Local producers and service providers benefit from market opportunities related to sustainably produced agricultural/ non-timber forest products.