14th Meeting of the CIC Coordination Forum for C/E Europe
Balkan Lynx Conservation and Sustainable Hunting Tourism Workshop
28 February – 2 March 2013, Holiday Inn, Skopje, Macedonia
MESSAGE FROM SKOPJE - Conservation of Balkan lynx and sustainable hunting
Participants of the 14th Meeting of the CIC Coordination Forum for Central Eastern Europe from 17 countries have established an overview on the conservation status of the Balkan lynx and on sustainable hunting. The European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme, and representatives of several diplomatic corps were valuable observers.
I. The Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) is critically endangered. Participants identified a series of required actions to urgently improve the conservation status of the most threatened subspecies of the Eurasian lynx in the world:
- The present population of the Balkan lynx needs to be strengthened as the most important measure. Without achieving this objective, any other steps would be without the required foundation.
- Participating CIC delegations, nature conservation organizations and experts agreed to form a Green Alliance to pursue concerted actions for the conservation of the Balkan lynx. Members of this Alliance wish to cooperate in the monitoring of the Balkan lynx, its prey, and habitats.
- The Alliance recognizes the importance of law enforcement for wildlife conservation, and assists the efforts of agencies to make law enforcement more effective.
- Recognized last refuges of the present Balkan lynx population and potential areas for future expansion need to be earmarked at the highest political levels in order to prevent the loss of their ecological integrity.
- Human resource development (capacity building/training at the level of researchers, hunters and wildlife management authorities) is needed for the aforementioned monitoring and enforcement tasks.
- The Alliance will build on the accumulated experience of its members and established best practices from other relevant areas. The results from the conservation of the Balkan lynx will be shared with all stakeholders. This will stimulate lynx conservation efforts in general.
- All actions will be accompanied by a public relations and communication programme. In this respect, the participants are highly appreciative of the decision of the Macedonian Football Federation to declare/choose the Balkan lynx as their emblem.
The Green Alliance has established a Steering Group to implement the first concrete actions.
II. The meeting underlined the vital role that sustainable hunting plays in the conservation of wildlife, if the interests of local hunters and tourist hunting are balanced.
Participants would like to express their gratitude to the Jassen Public Enterprise and the Macedonian Ecological Society for hosting and organizing the workshop and enabling this groundbreaking partnership between hunting and non-hunting conservationists.
Skopje, 2 March 2013
MESSAGE FROM SKOPJE