MORE ABOUT US


Natura MK is a Civil Society Organization with a mission to advocate, implement and support solutions for people to be better connected with the nature. Our vision is to create a different world where people live in harmony with nature.

The association was founded in 2018 by a group of enthusiasts with a vision that the citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia live in harmony with nature. The organization is active at the local level and in close cooperation with local partner organizations, as well as at the national level in cooperation with relevant state institutions and civil society organizations.

The organization is relatively young and builds its experience primarily through the individual experiences of its members. The organization currently has 14 members with diversified experience, 8 volunteers, one project coordinator employee, and staff engaged in support in maintaining visibility and financial operations.

YEARLY REPORT 2020-MK


Natura MK works in areas related to improvement of the quality of life, such as:

Strenghtening capacities for sustainable use and protection of natural resources

Conducting research, analysis and studies

Lobbying and advocacy


Promotion of rural development and alternative tourism

Promotion and development of ecology, sport and education

Encouraging philanthropy and volunteering

Our TEAM


M.Sc. Anela Stavrevska-Panajotova 

Consultant for Forestry and Rural Development

More than 15 years of professional experience closely linked to sustainable use of natural resources, with a specific focus on the forest ecosystems and the people living in rural areas, both in Protected Areas as well as in forest with economic interest. Passionate activist with practical working experience contributing to topics such as environmental, forestry and rural development, with continuous focus on climate change, nature based solutions, green jobs and the EU accession. Excellent understanding in forestry and nature conservation issues in North Macedonia, including the natural resource management cycles in the Central and Eastern European Countries. Great networker with excellent communication, facilitation and coaching skills, strong in building relationships with the relevant stakeholders on all levels. Broad knowledge in organisational development, monitoring and evaluation systems including administration procedures, budgeting and reporting. Skilled in developing project ideas, project writing and corporate communications.


Dr. Daniel Bogner

Consultant for Biodiversity and Capacity Building

More than 25 years of professional experience in environmental management, ecosystem services, spatial and strategic planning and development of protected areas. Excellent knowledge and practical working experience in the application of all key EU environmental legislation and International Conventions governing biodiversity including Agro-environmental schemes and Rural development programmes. Broad base of experience in the designation and management of protected areas, preparation of management plans, monitoring and evaluation as well as stakeholder involvement processes. Highly experienced in capacity building for environmental topics and involvement of different stakeholders at all levels. Wide experience in leading multi disciplinary teams. Excellent communication, facilitation and conflict mediation skills.


M.Sc. Bojan Rantasa

Consultant for Stakeholder Involvement and Tourism

More than 15 years of professional expertise in the area of participatory management of natural resources and sustainable tourism. Working experience in stakeholder involvement, participatory forest policy development, facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes, sustainable tourism product development, communicating climate change, and market analysis and assessment. Research experience in sociology of the rural. Knowledge in agriculture economy, payment of ecosystem services, management of protected areas, and business development. Broad understanding of systems thinking approach, application of geographical technologies and remote sensing, and biodiversity conservation. Skills in project management, evaluation and self-evaluation techniques, communicating results and dissemination.

PROJECTS


 

April 2021 - June 2021

Protected Area Management

Improving protected area management in North Macedonia.

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Natura MK is carrying out two activities in the period from April 2021 to June 2021 that will contribute to improvement of protected area management in the country:
• A training program for rangers of protected areas in North Macedonia;
• A communication campaign targeting the local people living on Shar Mountain.

The activities will be organised within the project "Project Achieving Biodiversity Conservation through Creation and Effective Management of Protected Areas and Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Land Use Planning”, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented through the UN Environment Program (UNEP), with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP) as the main partner and beneficiary.

 

April 2021 - October 2021

SHARA National Park

Support in preparing a management plan for NP Shara.

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In the period from April 2021 to October 2021, Natura MK is engaged by the International Union for Nature Conservation - IUCN to support the preparation of the Management Plan for the proposed new National Park in North Macedonia, on the territory of the Shar Mountain.

The following activities will be carried out within the engagement:
• Finalize the methodology for developing a management plan for the proposed protected area;
• Contribute to relevant sections of the draft management plan;
• Liaise with local authorities and local stakeholders;
• Contribute to preparation of management and sub programs and the annual program within the management plan;
• Provide communication support between the project teams and local stakeholders;
• Provide logistical support to project activities and personnel as required;
• Organisation and facilitation of stakeholder consultation workshops.

All tasks will be conducted in cooperation with IUCN, the key expert engage and in direct communication with all stakeholders at all levels in the Shar Mountain region.

In the direction of good management of local resources, this initiative aims to contribute to creating cooperation between local stakeholders and the future management of the national park. The project activity is implemented within the project "Project Achieving Biodiversity Conservation through Creation and Effective Management of Protected Areas and Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Land Use Planning. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented through the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the main partner and beneficiary is the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP), while a partner in the implementation of this project activity are IUCN and Natura MK.

 

March 2021 - December 2021

Protected areas for Nature and People II

Together against illegal activities in hard-to-reach terrains of protected areas.

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The high mountainous parts of the protected areas in North Macedonia are remote and difficult to access, making them rarely visited and difficult to control. They are mostly in the border areas, where with the transformation of the army and the transfer of control of the border from the military to the police service, in recent years, control has been significantly reduced. The managers of the protected areas: SP "Vevchanski Izvori", NP "Galicica" and NP "Mavrovo" with their facilities try to protect biodiversity from illegal activities that harm nature but also face difficult accessibility, large territory and insufficient funds.

The wild plant species in these regions are an important source of income for the local population, through sustainable use in cooperation with the managers. Illegal and uncontrolled collection affects reuse, extinction of certain species and reduced income opportunities. Hence the need to highlight the problem of illegal activities in the mountainous areas of protected areas to the public and to seek ways to address it within the local community but also at the level of national policies.

For that purpose, in the period from March to December 2021, Natura MK in cooperation with the protected areas NP Galicica, NP Mavrovo and ZP Vevchanski Izvori, will implement the project "Together against illegal activities in the hard-to-reach terrains of the protected areas", under the grant scheme of the project "Protected Areas for Nature and People II 2019-2022" implemented by the World Wild Fund Adria - WWF Adria and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - SIDA.

Four results will be achieved within the project:
• Increased public awareness of the need to reduce illegal activities in the highlands in protected areas. The activities will be implemented through social media, for which informative posts and videos will be prepared in order for the public to be more actively involved in the fight against illegal actions that harm nature.
• Prepared report on the situation with the illegal activities that harm the nature in the high mountainous areas of the protected areas. The report will be prepared on the basis of gathering information and taking into account the measures used to deal with them, analyzing the ways in which the local community can help; as well as recommendations to decision makers.
• Monitoring of protected areas through the application of new technologies. The monitoring in the high mountain areas will be performed with a drone. Through this activity, employees in protected areas will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the application of new technologies.
• Establish closer cooperation between local community volunteers and protected area managers. This activity will establish long-term cooperation between local communities, activists, citizens' associations and other stakeholders and protected area administrations.

Any views and opinions expressed within the project will not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of SIDA or WWF.

 

October 2020

Bio-Courses

In cooperation with IEP, members of Natura MK participated in the organization and implementation of 3 biocourses that took place in October 2020.

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The bio-courses were part of the project "Bicycle paths and mountain biking trails on Mount Vodno", funded by the City of Skopje and the Regional Cooperation Council of Sarajevo, and implemented by the Citizens' Initiative for European Perspective (IEP) and the City of Skopje.

GALLERY
VIDEO

 

August 2020 - January 2021

Shara National Park

Engagement to improve the management of Shar Mountain as a new National Park in North Macedonia.

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In the period from August 2020 to January 2021 Natura MK implemented activities that contributed to improving the management of Shar Mountain as a new National Park in North Macedonia. The following activities were carried out within the engagement:
• Facilitation in consultative meetings with critical stakeholders;
• Rural Forums monitoring;
• Presentation of the process for preparation of a management plan at the Public Hearing on the draft law for proclamation of Shar Mountain National Park;
• Preparation of an action plan for Shara Management Plan;
• Revision of the proposed borders and zoning of the proposed area;
• In cooperation with IUCN participated in direct communication with all stakeholders at all levels in the Shar Mountain region.

In the direction of good management of local resources, this initiative aims to contribute to creating cooperation between local stakeholders and the future management of the national park. The project activity is implemented within the project "Project Achieving Biodiversity Conservation through Creation and Effective Management of Protected Areas and Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Land Use Planning. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented through the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the main partner and beneficiary is the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP), while a partner in the implementation of this project activity are IUCN and Natura MK.

 

2020

natura mk networking

In 2020 Natura MK became a memeber of two networks.

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The Climate Coalition, formed by civil society organizations working on education and information on these topics in order to increase citizen participation in decision-making and monitoring their implementation.

Natura MK signed a memorandum of cooperation and support to the informal group of citizens' association "Friends of Shara". Natura MK has committed itself with all its capacities to contribute to seeing Shar Mountain as a national park in the near future.

 

February - September 2019

I Feel Nature - initiative for people with visual impairments

Campaign withing the project "Disability: A matter of perception", funded by the European Union.

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In the period from February to September 2019, Natura MK implemented the campaign "I Feel Nature". The goal of this campaig was to affect public perception towards people with visual impairments by creating positive examples of overcoming the disabilities and promoting those examples. Campaign activities are aimed towards better inclusion of the blind and the visually impaired in activities on the mountains. An innovative moment in the campaign is that the blind people will come out of the stereotypes of urban living and they will have the opportunity to step in and enjoy nature with all their senses.

The following activities were implemented as part of the campaign:
• 3 trainings for guides with visually impaired were carried out, with 8 mountaineers trained;
• 5 climbs and walks in nature with people with visual impairment were conducted on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia;
• Produced materials: 3 videos, puПродуцирани материјали: 3 видеа, media announcements and campaign sharing via social media;

The campaign "I Feel Nature" - initiative for people with visual impairments is part of the Project "Disability: A matter of perception", funded by the European Union. The project is implemented by the partnership of the Media Diversity Institute, and its partners Macedonian Institute for Media and National Council of Disability Organizations of Macedonia.

The campaign continues outside the project every last Saturday in the month, organized by a group of enthusiasts from Natura MK and several visually impaired people from Skopje. As Helen Keller would say: "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much". On the next journey we we invite all those want to reach out and we hope that this experience will motivate more visually impaired people to come out and experience the nature.

GALLERY
VIDEO

 

November 2018

Children trail in Skopje ZOO

Natura MK team completely reconstructed childrens forest trail on a new location in Skopje ZOO.

GALLERY

 

April 2018

Macedonia without waste

Natura MK actively supported Kozjak lake cleaning initiative - Let's return Kozjak lake to nature

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On Earth Day, 22nd of April, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, assotiations "Go Green" and "CNVP Macedonia" will carry out an initiative to clean Lake Kozjak. The action brings together several state institutions, the municipality of Makedonski Brod with the public utility company, Jasen Nature Reserve, the Association of Collective Waste Handlers, numerous NGOs, athletes (kayakers, divers, climbers) and diplomatic corps representatives. All interested clean nature lovers are also invited to join us in this environmental action. There are central points in the villages Zdunje and Blizansko. Locations around the two central points will be cleaned. There will be a special driving schedule to access the locations indicated. The regular driving schedule is 6:30-9:00 towards the locations and 16:00-18:30 towards Skopje. The action will take place from 11:00 to 15:00. Gloves, water and sandwich will be provided for the participants.

GALLERY

 

2017

Nature without borders

Organization of hiking tour in Macedonia with blind and visually impaired people, in cooperation with RideMK.

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The tour was carried out in June 2017, with 25 friends from Israel. One third of them were blind and hand in hand, they went with the others to climb peaks over 2.000m through our three National Parks. We hiked more than 50km through the Macedonian mountains and in 3 consecutive days in sun and rain we climbed Medenica peak (2.163m), Magaro peak (2.255m), and along endless stone rivers Pelister peak (2.601m). Only on Pelister we climbed 1.300m altitude and walked for 12 hours. You see and you don't believe your eyes, and at the same time you witness that these people did not see, but they believed!
So far no such tour has been done in Macedonia but we believed and accepted the challenge. Before we left, my colleagues asked us "and why do they even go when they can't see anything from the top?" We didn't have a firm answer, but deep down we knew that they must have a good reason. Now things are much clearer. We see and because of prejudice we do not believe, and these people do not see but have strong faith. Below each peak we lifted their heads to at least imagine the angle of the path in front of them. If we could, we would have given our eyes to see where they managed to climb. Mountaineering with such a company is a unique experience and you have no right to complain at any time because you have an advantage from the start. Each of us had its own peak, an internal struggle, but also satisfaction at the end of the day, and it was our pleasure to see their tears of joy. The tour was special in the full sense of the word. Every day full of emotions, and the mountain has helped us all return to being better people. Those who were blind because of equal treatment and the opportunity to be part of the team, and the others because the good you comes back to you multiplied!

GALLERY
VIDEO

 

2016 - 2017

ECO ADVENTURES

In cooperation with Eko Svest in a project for the protection of National Parks in Macedonia.

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In addition to the solution for sustainable develoment of NP Mavrovo and Galicica, eco adventures maps were produced for Galicica and Mavrovo National Parks, and later for Mariovo region. They offer year-round active tourism activities without disturbing the exceptional natural values of these National Parks. Eco tours and maps can be viewed in electronic form on the website EcoAdventures, or in the gallery. Supported by Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Ohrid SOS, Etnar, Save the Blue Heart of Europe, Mava, Euronatur, RiverWatch, Front 21|42.

GALLERY

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CONTACT AND SOCIAL NETWORKS


Civil Assotiation NATURA MK
blvd. Vidoe Smilevski Bato 39/26, 1000 Skopje
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contact@naturamk.org


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