Training course was organized in the case study area of Sinjajevina in Montenegro, and intertwined with the Closing conference of the IRIS project, from 19-21 October 2023.

The closing conference of the IRIS project aimed at presenting the results of the activities implemented by the project partners in the pilot areas and constituting a space for mutual learning between project members and other external collaborators. In this sense, the goal of the conference was to be a platform for exchanging experiences and good practices with decision makers related to mountain areas, while building new dialogues for their protection through use. The IRIS project closing conference lasted three days, and consisted of:

  • 19 October 2023, Thursday - Field trip to Sinjajevina
  • 20 October 2023, Friday - Sinjajevina workshop and The opening of the IRIS exhibition
  • 21 October 2023, Saturday - IRIS results presentations

The frequented day of the IRIS project closing conference concerning Montenegro was Friday 20 October 2023, when the Sinjajevina Workshop was organised. The goal was to use this workshop as a platform for discussion with key actors and various experts about the future potential protection, heritage enhancement and community centred and participated sustainable development of Sinjajevina, which could also be an inspiration for other mountain areas of Montenegro and the Balkans.

There were nearly 50 participants at the Sinjajevina Workshop, including represetnatives of IRIS project partners from France, Italy, Spain and the UK along with international experts from Croatia, Italy and Albania, as well as different local and national actors related to Sinjajevina, including represetnatives from the Ministry of Culture, Administration for Heritage Protection, Environmental Protection Agency, University of Montenegro, municipalities of Kolašin, Mojkovac, Žabljak and Danilovgrad, National park Biogradska gora, different NGOs including Regional Development Agency for Bjelasica, Komovi and Porokletije, Center for the Study and Protection of Birds of Montenegro, Fondation Petrovitch Njegosh, Peaks of Montenegro, Natura, Sinjavinski Marathon and Save Sinjajevina as well as represetnatives of local communities. At the conference there were also the main representatives from the donor Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPI CH), the secretary general and chair, that were at the same time members of the French Ministry of Culture.

The first part of the workshop included presentations about results of the IRIS project in the case study area of Sinjajevina, which was then followed by presentations about opportunities for Sinjajevina by national actors centred on nature protection, cultural heritage and rural tourism, then by presentations about local perspectives by municipalities and local communities linked to Sinjajevina, and closed by important and inspirational international perspectives from Croatia and Spain. The Workshop on Sinjajevina was finalised with the organization of work in groups, where participants of the closing conference discussed together about key issues related to Sinjajevina:

  • Agriculture and rural development.
  • Management issues, land property and use rights.
  • Protection of nature and biodiversity.
  • Protection of living heritage.

The groups that consisted of experts from various countries and backgrounds, academics, NGOs, decision makers and local community representatives, came up with a series of recommendations to enhance the protection, heritage enhancement and community centred and participated sustainable development of Sinjajevina.

Conference presentations

Link to Sinjajevina Workshop Conference presentations