CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE CIC COORDINATION FORUM MEETING - SKOPJE, FYROM
BALKAN LYNX CONSERVATION
This Meeting brought together the International Council for Game & Wildlife Conservation (CIC) delegations from 14 countries together with representatives of the diplomatic community, a number of UN bodies, the Commission’s DG Environment, the FACE Secretary General and a number of scientists mainly to discuss Lynx conservation and in particular the endangered Balkan Lynx. This resulted in an important Resolution calling for a Green Alliance to address the conservation concerns related to the Balkan Lynx.
ON HUNTING TOURISM
There was also a highly informative session on hunting tourism. This was framed by some of the findings of the recently concluded FP7 HUNT Project which illustrate the potential value of hunting tourism economically, socially and environmentally. These findings were supported by presentations from the Slovak Hunters’ Chamber and the Croatian Hunters’ Association outlining the important role of national hunters’ associations in supporting the proper implementation of hunting tourism. The example given by the Albanian Hunters’ Federation unfortunately served as a powerful example of the devastating effects of poorly regulated hunting tourism. FACE has been collaborating with the Albanian Hunters’ Federation to support them in trying to raise awareness on this issue and secure a greater role in assisting the national authorities to better manage hunting tourism. At present, this includes a call for a four-year moratorium on hunting tourism in order to clean up the sector and put in place measures to ensure the sustainability of such operations.
This meeting reaffirms the important role of the CIC Central European Coordination Forum in bringing together delegations from a region rich in hunting culture and nature, but also a region with common concerns about balancing these riches of nature and hunting with a dynamic social and economic environment. FACE, whose Members head many of the CIC delegations remains committed to supporting this collaboration and the work of the CIC to the benefit of the national hunting associations and the millions of ordinary hunters they represent.