The Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans Programme marked the initiation of the first phase


The Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans (LFMWB) is a Programme financed by the Global Programme Climate Change and Environment (GPCCE) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Farmahem from Skopje (acting as a Regional Executive Agency (REA)) with backstopping support from Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. REA organized a kick-off meeting with the programme partners. The kick-off meeting was held from the 5th till the 7th of April 2022 in North Macedonia. At this meeting, the programme partners were introduced to the project goals and long-term vision. Through active participation, the project outcomes, results, activities, and needs were discussed. Representatives from each Country Partner Institution (CPI) participated in the kick-off meeting. CPIs from the following countries attended the meeting: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (including 2 representatives from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 2 representatives from the Republika Srpska), Kosovo (UNSCR 1244/1999)*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. In addition to the Western Balkan countries, other regional, global and Swiss organizations participated in the formal start of the LFMWB Programme.

The programme partners jointly supported the lunch of the LFMWB Programme and pointed out the relevance of the LFMWB Programme at the national, regional and international level. H.E. Ms. Veronique Hulmann, the ambassador of Switzerland in North Macedonia addressed the importance of shaping the way forward jointly while collectively diving into the substance of the LFMWB. Ms. Janine Kuriger, a head of division at the SDC GPCCE, expressed the significance of building national and international expertise and know-how with cross-boundary actions that will contribute to substantial and lasting collaboration in the region. She indicated that Better cooperation, Better capacities, and Better policies are the main aspirations of the Programme. These aspirations combined with joint engagement and expertise will contribute to achieving the overall goal of increasing the resilience of the forests and landscapes in the Western Balkans and improving the livelihoods and the socio-economic situation of the people who depend on them.

After the thoroughly expressed opening speeches, the LFM

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