Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Book
Title Local Biodiversity Action Planning for Southeastern Europe: Spotlight on the Activities
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Biodiversity is life on earth, the diversity of living
beings, places that they inhabit and the interaction
between them. According to the most widely accepted
definition, biodiversity is the totality of genes, species,
ecosystems and landscapes on Earth. The Convention
on Biological Diversity defines this term as the variety
and diversity of living organisms, including, inter alia,
terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and
the ecological complexes of which they are part; this
includes diversity within species, between species
and ecosystems. Biodiversity is integral to sustainable
development by providing vital goods and services
which are currently being degraded at an alarming
rate both in Europe and globally. Biodiversity loss is
one of the world’s most pressing crises. Causes for
biodiversity loss are complex, and solutions require
the involvement of multiple groups, from international
bodies to governments and local authorities to civil
There is now high interest in and recognition of the
value of the richness of biodiversity in the Western
Balkans. The region harbours an exceptional wealth
of plants and animals, and a great number of species,
especially in the remote mountain areas, are found
nowhere else. Many of these species are of global or
European conservation importance. The vast majority
of the area is covered by the Dinaric mountain range
and a small part of the area in the north-east belongs
to the Carpathian mountain range. Lowlands are to be
found only in the far north of the area in the Danube,
Sava and Tisa river valleys and in the Morava river
valley in the central part of the area. Tara National
Park consists of a group of mountain peaks with deep
gorges between them; the Tara river gorge is more than
80 kilometres long and is 1,300 metres at its deepest,
making it one of the deepest river canyons in Europe.
Other examples include Šar National Park, between
Macedonia and Kosovo, and Durmitor National Park,
which is the refuge of many glacial species from the
Great Ice Age. The Western Balkans region belongs to
the water catchment basins of three seas: the Adriatic,
Black and Aegean. Other important features of the
area are the three big lakes shared by neighbouring
countries: Ohrid Lake (Albania and Macedonia),
Prespa Lake (Albania, Greece and Macedonia) and
Shkodra Lake (Albania and Montenegro).

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