The Shar/Šara Mountains and Korab Massif area in South-Eastern Europe is a biodiversity hotspot, home to a diverse ecosystem of rare flora and fauna with outstanding natural value. Comprising the four protected areas Korab-Koritnik, Mavrovo, Shar Mountain, and Sharri/Šara, it covers a combined area of more than 240,000 hectares, making it one of the largest protected areas on the continent. More than 100,000 people rely on its natural resources to earn a living, but climate change is threatening the area’s rich biodiversity, putting at risk the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
In response to these challenges and building on the earlier Scoping Study, the Strategy Paperprioritises areas for joint action, identifies ways to strengthen co-operation among the four protected areas, and outlines tangible project ideas to address climate-related security risks in the Shar/Šara Mountains and Korab Massif Area. Among the project ideas for joint implementation in the protected areas are initiatives to prevent illegal logging, hunting, and wildlife smuggling, to enhance resilience to forest fires and to create livelihood opportunities for women.
The strategy was developed through a consultation process that brought together park management authorities, governmental agencies, municipalities, local NGOs, relevant regional and international organizations, and experts to discuss climate-related security risks and to develop a joint vision and action plan for this mountain region. This strategy was prepared within the framework of the OSCE extra-budgetary project Strengthening responses to security risks from climate change in South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia, which is implemented by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) in partnership with adelphi and funded by Andorra, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United States. The project is part of the OSCE’s active effort to support its participating States in implementing the 2021 OSCE Ministerial Council Decision on climate change.