The Dinaric Arc ecoregion stretches from Trieste in Italy to Tirana in Albania covering large parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. PA4LP is working to ensure that biodiversity and livelihoods in this region are protected and enhanced.

Through strong engagement from partners, notably through the Dinaric Arc Initiative, impacts of the project in this region have been greatly magnified. Here are a few highlists:

Joint Committment to Deliver on CBD Committments.
  • In May 2008, ministers from the six countries of the ecoregion came together and signed the 'Big Win' – a joint statement to coordinate efforts to deliver on the commitments they made under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). To date over 70% of these commitments have been realised.

Transboundary cooperation - Countries and Communities Working Together.
  • As a result of the Big Win commitments, several projects have been initiated including activities on transboundary collaboration, strengthening rural communities, establishing private-public partnerships, and extension of Natura 2000 networks.

Increased Funding - More Available for CBD Implementation.
  • A significant increase in donor funding - US $5 million - has been secured for CBD implementation. 

Economic Values of PAs Calculated. 
  • In 2010, an evaluation of economic benefits of PAs began. This project will be completed in 2011 and help stakeholders realize and leverage the values of their PAs.

Human Capacity Increased - Capacity Building Plan Developed. 
  • Management effectiveness and capacity needs have been assessed in all six countries.
  • A capacity building plan was developed jointly with partners, and completed in July 2010. This capacity building plan will be used to develop guidelines at the national and regional level.
  • Training on PAs economics and business plan development was provided to park managers and representatives of institutions responsible for PAs.

Next Steps for PA4LP in the Dinaric Arc
  • Development and implementation of plans for governance and management of transboundary PAs.
  • Establishment of Natura 2000 networks, especially in marine habitats. 
  • Development of PAs business plans in all countries with the support of the CBD LifeWeb Initiative.
  • Implementation of regional capacity building plan with partners. 
  • Strengthened and continued support to individual countries to fully realise the commitments they made in the 2008 "Big Win".
  • Ensure long-term financial sustainability of PAs which benefit local communities. 
  • Enhance cooperation between PAs authorities and other sectors on biodiversity management towards rural sustainable development.
Plitvice National Park, Croatia 
© Wild Wonders of Europe/Maurizio Biancarelli/WWF
Plitvice National Park, Croatia
© Wild Wonders of Europe/Maurizio Biancarelli/WWF


November 2010: Rewilding Europe Campaign is launched to rewild one million hectares of Europe's abandoned landscape by 2020. Brussels, Belgium.

June 2010: First meeting on trans-boundary cooperation with a wide group of experts and decision makers from the region in Capljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

June 2010: First publication of the Protected Area Gap Analysis in the Dinaric Arc Ecoregion, Zagreb, Croatia. (translations available below on the left)

May 2010: Dinaric Arc countries make a joint statement on sustainable financing for PAs at the SBSTTA meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. 

January 2009: Start of the Environment for People project in the Dinaric Arc to promote the natural and cultural values of the area.

May 2008: 6 countries sign on to the Big Win, a historic joint statement at CBD COP9, Bonn, Germany. 

Hear what Deni Porej, Conservation Director of the WWF Mediterranean Programme Office, says about the "Big Win" agreement: 


" We joined with a number of other organizations that are working in the region, called Dinaric Arc - United Nations, UNEP, FAO - and we've been able to pull it off."

Deni Porej, WWF-Medpo Conservation Director

Listen to Pieter de Baan, SNV Regional Director for the Balkans on the importance of regional partnerships in the Dinaric Arc Ecoregion: 


" Whatever we do at the local level... has the potential to be replicated across the region."

Pieter de Baan, SNV Regional Director

Matti Nummelin, Senior Environmental Adviser for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland speaks about the benefits of PAs for local communities:


"It's not only the global value of biodiversity, but the value of biodiversity for local people."

Matti Nummelin, Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Find out what Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe thinks about the project. Start watching at 1:02.


" More and more actors are joining this initiative, more actions are taking place on the ground, and more joint initiatives and joint projects are being submitted."

Boris Erg, IUCN

Contact: Dinaric Arc

Stella Satalic, Project Leader

Project leader, Dinarc Arc Region © WWF

Wild boar, Serbia
© Wild boar, Serbia © Wild Wonders of Europe/Ruben Smit/WWF

"Creating cross-border dynamics benefits the people on both sides of the border and protects their common interests; 1+1=3!"

Pieter de Baan, SNV Regional Director for the Balkans

European pond turtle, Serbia
© European pond turtle, Serbia © Wild Wonders of Europe/Ruben Smit/WWF

“We have to continue what we have started to move to concrete, results-oriented action, and link this region with other regions.”

Boris Erg, Director, IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe

Trebišnjica river in Trebinje, Bosnia & Herzegovina
© Trebišnjica river in Trebinje, Bosnia & Herzegovina © Edward PARKER / WWF

"During the International Year of Biodiversity, Finland stresses that we must do more for the conservation and promoition of sustainable use of biodiversity."

Dr. Matti Nummelin, Senior Environmental Adviser at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

International Conference on Transboundary Cooperation, Bosnia & Herzegovina 2010
© International Conference on Transboundary Cooperation, Bosnia & Herzegovina 2010 © WWF-Medpo

International conferences help enhance transboundary cooperation and ensure beneficial PA outcomes.