The goal of BIOPROSPECT project is to explore and document the economic value of forested areas and the ways of sustainable capitalization as a mean for their wise management and conservation.
The Balkan region is a cradle of very rich biodiversity both in terms of flora and fauna. One of the main environmental challenges is the loss of biodiversity which takes place in all Balkan countries and surrounding areas. Balkan forests maintain countless possibilities for the development of high value products, since forest nature can be valued as capital i.e. as a source of reproduction of ecological services and as a source of knowledge. According to the European Parliamentary Research Service (2015), there are large remaining knowledge gaps about biodiversity meaning that public authorities and businesses may not have the full picture when taking decisions, especially regarding social, economic and environmental benefits and costs.
For this reason economic evaluation is one of the main priorities of ‘’EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020’’ (Act. 5) which stresses the importance of mapping ecosystems and their services, assessing the economic value of such services, and promoting the integration of these values into accounting and reporting systems in EU and national level by 2020.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To provide operational tools for the conservation of forest biodiversity through economic evaluation and sustainable capitalization
- To demonstrate the operational application of forest economic evaluation and capitalization benefits
- To integrate economic evaluation in operational management of forested areas and policy initiatives of Balkan Mediterranean area
The project BIOPROSPECT is a part of the transnational Cooperation Programme Interreg V-B “Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020”, and its duration will be 24 months (October 2017- October 2019). The consortium comprises 8 partners from all 5 countries of the programme.
- Democritus University of Thrace – Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Greece (Lead Partner)
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki- Department of Economics, Greece
- Exhibition Research Institute, Greece
- Institute of Applied Biosciences – Centre for Research and Technology , Greece
- Municipality of Vrapcisht, FYROM
- Cyprus University of Technology
- AGROBIOINSTITUTE Research Institute, Bulgaria
- Maliq Municipality, Albania
Total Project Budget: 1.104.565 €
IEE Project Budget: 126.500 €
IEE Actions for the Project
The main actions for IEE involve the creation of the project ID and website and conducting a study on guidelines for sustainable capitalization of cultural services related to education and social inclusion. IEE will also conduct a study in order to improve accessibility and educational value in the protected areas. Finally, IEE will be involved in stakeholders’ mobilization and will assemble a mobile exhibition to demonstrate and disseminate the implementation and results of the project.