WWF Adria was officially established at the beginning of 2015 although WWF has been active in the Dinaric Arc region for more than 15 years. WWF plays a key role in protecting the biodiversity of the Dinaric Arc region, part of the larger Mediterranean and Danube-Carpathian ecoregion. As an international organisation our approach is to think globally, act locally. In this way we bring to the region a wide range of the best international practices that can be locally applied according to our in-depth knowledge and experience of conditions and needs.
With its head office in Zagreb, Croatia, WWF Adria works in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia*, Kosovo**, Slovenia and Serbia. WWF Adria is a branch of, and acts through, the WWF Mediterranean Programme established by WWF International to protect forests, marine and freshwater ecosystems in the Mediterranean.
Cooperation with NGOs
The strategic partners of WWF Adria in the region are the World Organization for Nature (WON) in Serbia, Dinarica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ecopana in Kosovo*. In its 15 years WWF has cooperated with many NGOs, including Green Home, Mladi istraživači Srbije, Sunce, INCA, Zelena akcija, Eko-Most, Zeleni Osijek, Zelena Istra, Greenpeace Croatia, BIOM, Žmergo and the NGO Coalition Dravska liga.
WWF supports the establishment of the UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube between 5 countries (Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Serbia). Once established it will be one of the largest protected freshwater and wetland habitats in Europe. The implementation of this ambitious plan would not be possible without cooperation with NGOs who are riverwatchers supporting the programme.
WWF Adria is part of a coalition of NGOs, Green Forum, active in the organisation of the campaign SOS for Adriatic: No Oil Drilling! Working with Sunce (Split), Zelena Istra (Pula), Žmergo (Opatija), Zelena akcija and BIOM (Zagreb), and in cooperation with Greenpeace Croatia, the objective is to protect the entire Adriatic from oil pollution, stopping the planned activities in Croatia and pushing for the rapid finalization of existing oil production in Italian waters.
Big Win for the Dinaric Arc
In 2008, WWF launched the Big Win for the Dinaric Arc (Velika pobjeda za Dinarski luk), a joint statement in which nature conservation authorities from South-Eastern Europe agreed to work together on strengthening cooperation in the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. For the first time governments committed their countries to cross-border conservation efforts and a series of national targets. The ceremony of signing the Big Win documents was organised during the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 9) held in Bonn in May 2008.
More than 80 percent of the promises from the initial Big Win agreement have been fulfilled, providing the impetus for a new five-year agreement –Big Win 2 – which the governments accepted during the 2nd International Dinaric Arc Parks Conference in 2013. This time FYR Macedonia* and Kosovo** also signed the statement in which countries committed to working together on improving the management of protected areas in the region. The Big Win 2 initiative was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of sustainable tourism of Montenegro and IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Every year, since 2007, WWF organises the largest global voluntary action – Earth Hour – mobilising companies, organisations, governments and hundreds of millions of people to act towards a more sustainable future for our planet. In 2016, 176 counties participated with more than 7000 cities turning off the lights on 1220 landmarks, including 37 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Countries from the entire Adria region were active participants.
* According to the UN, the official name for Macedonia is “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
** This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.