Thematic Session: Environmental Quality (Pillar 3) – Importance of blue and green infrastructure in a light of the new EU post-2020 biodiversity framework: How to enhance the delivery of essential ecosystem services throughout the Adriatic-Ionian Region?
Due to covid-19 pandemic, Republic of Serbia had to organize 5th EUSAIR Forum during the on-going Slovene presidency, in a virtual format. TSG 3, the Environmental quality pillar, thus held its session of 29th of January on-line, focusing on the Importance of blue and green infrastructure in a light of the new EU Post-2020 biodiversity framework.
Panel was moderated by Klemen Jerina (Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty) and introduced by Serbian TSG 3 member Dušan Ognjanović. Representatives of pillar 3 co-chairing member states, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mitja Bricelj and Senad Oprašić, shared the main achievements of the previous year, underlining the importance of the green and blue corridors in the Adriatic–Ionian Region. Panellists Duško Cirović (Belgrade Faculty of Biology) and Karin Zaunberger (Biodiversity Unit at DG Environment, EC) focused their presentations on how to enhance the delivery of essential ecosystem services throughout the region.
Key insights of the Belgrade TSG 3 session on the quality of the environment are the following:
Special attention must be given to the alignment of policies and approaches across the Adriatic-Ionian region in order to establish the joint management and the investments in the landscape infrastructure to support green/blue corridors. This will contribute to the effective management of shared natural resources.
Macro-regional strategies should translate the EU policies in order to mobilize local institutions, cities, agencies, universities, private sectors and civil society towards better implementation of green infrastructure to foster green and blue corridors. This will at the same time halt habitat degradation, including habitat fragmentation, and with it the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Europe’s large carnivores (such as grey wolf, Eurasian Lynx and brown bear) require extensive well-connected habitats to sustain viable populations and can be thus considered also as convenient umbrella species for conservation of significant proportion of biodiversity in the region and wider. On this note green infrastructure is very important in the Adriatic-Ionian region as their landscape provide important habitats for large carnivores, due to its favourable natural predispositions and strategic geographic position.