Aligning Stakeholders’ Perspectives: Validating the Country Report in Podgorica


In the frame of the SDC’s Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans (LFMWB) Programme, the third landscape fire management (LFM) workshop was held in Podgorica on the 16th of November, 2023. This workshop of the national LFM network was organized by the LFMWB’s Country Partner Institution (CPI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Montenegro, in collaboration with the Regional Fire Monitoring Center (RFMC).

As an integral component of the LFMWB, this workshop of the national LFM network was a collaborative effort to refine existing practices, address challenges, and validate the final version of the Country report with the LFM stakeholders as well as to initiate the development of a strategy for adaptive landscape management and LFM.

The workshop commenced with an opening speech by Mr. Srđan Pejović, a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management. He emphasized the importance of the national LFM network and encouraged active participation in shaping strategic guidelines for effective LFM.

Ms. Marija Sterjovska, the project officer of the LFMWB Programme, warmly greeted the participants, emphasizing the importance of regional collaboration in tackling landscape fire risks and threats. She highlighted the vulnerability due to climate change, land-use changes, and rural migration as well as the need for prevention, preparedness, and the reassessment of landscape fire management at local, national, and regional levels.

Mr. Srđan Šašić, Country Project Staff in Montenegro moderated the workshop, and he navigated through key presentations covering the LFM Country preparation process, the final version of the Country report, SWOT analysis, and LFM guidelines. These sessions triggered comprehensive discussions among participants, highlighting the LFM challenges faced by Montenegro. The primary objectives of his presentations were to foster mutual acceptance of the final draft of the report, collaboratively formulate LFM guidelines, and engage in discussions to define LFM gaps at the national level.

Around 20 representatives from key institutions associated with the LFMWB Programme, spanning science, practice, and policy sectors, actively participated in the workshop. The workshop facilitated an open dialogue among the stakeholders, leading to unanimous approval of the Country report with LFM guidelines. The participants acknowledged the document’s significance in steering Montenegro towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

During the workshop, the stakeholders pinpointed specific challenges and proposed solutions, such as the need to include protected areas and create a national fire risk map. Discussions delved into deficiencies within existing laws and penal policies, sparking proposals for collaborative, intersectoral solutions.

Moreover, Mr. Velian Jagev, a regional officer for forestry and landscape fire management representing the RFMC, presented the concept for the preparation of the strategy for adaptive landscape management and LFM. The participants focused on defining the vision of the LFM strategy and outlining its main objectives, marking the initiation process of the preparation of the strategy.

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