An exhibition of the photo competition “Natura 2000 in the frame” was ceremoniously opened today on the Sava Promenade at the Kalemegdan Fortress. Visitors to the capital have the opportunity to see three winning and 31 photos of the semifinalists, which show beautiful pictures of protected species in Serbia.

Photo contest ”Natura 2000 in the frame” was organized by the project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia” in collaboration with and Energy Portal. Out of more than 1,500 received photographs, 34 were selected and are displayed at an outdoor photo exhibition at Kalemegdan Fortress during March and April 2021. This exhibition aims to show through these amazing photographs the important biodiversity values and beautiful landscapes in Serbia, as well as raise public awareness of the importance of nature conservation, diversity of flora and fauna, and benefits of the Natura 2000 network for Serbia.

Opening the exhibition, the Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, Sam Fabrizi, congratulated the talented Serbian photographers who have captured digitally the important biodiversity values ​​ and the beautiful landscapes of Serbia. “We are here celebrating the nature and I believe that now, more than ever, we should respect the nature and live with it. The pandemics, among many lessons, clearly pointed out was that if we have a healthy planet, certainly we will have a healthy way of life for all of us,” Ambassador Fabrizi emphasized.

The main topics to which amateur and professional photographers responded were: protected areas and landscapes, natural beauties, Serbian flora and fauna and sustainable human activities. It is essential to connect the importance of protection of biodiversity with the diversity of natural landscapes in Serbia, highlighting the sites that will be part of the Natura 2000 network. The walk through Kalemegdanwill showcase the beautiful landscapes in Serbia, motivating and reminding citizens about the importance of protection of the environment and the diversity of flora and fauna that they can admire in the country.

The participants in the competition captured beautiful landscapes with their lenses and thus reminded us of the natural resources that Serbia has. The exhibition we opened today is part of an EU project that deals with the identification of species and habitats that will be part of the Natura 2000 network. The ministry is working intensively on the Natura 2000 network project. This project would not have succeeded if we did not have the strong support of the European Union “, emphasized the Minister of Environmental Protection, Irena Vujović.

The Natura 2000 network is a crucial instrument for biodiversity protection in the European Union, an ecological network of protected areas established to secure the survival of the most valuable species and habitats, ensuring that European nature systems stay healthy and resilient. The EU is supporting the Ministry of Environmental Protection in the establishment of the Natura 2000 network in Serbia through the project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia”.

I expect that we will participate in many other projects, considering that the experience from the EU and the support are of exceptional importance for both our country and our ministry,” Minister Vujović emphasized.

Serbia has a unique biodiversity and unique habitats in Europe and is home to a large number of endangered species. From March to October, 10,000 records were collected on 163 species and 57 habitat types, and some findings were very interesting: the presence of rare birds that had not been registered for more than two decades was registered. Within the project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia”, the EU provides support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia to establish the first list of potential sites in Serbia that will be part of the European Natura 2000 network and ensure long-term survival of the most valuable species and habitats from Serbia.

Serbia is a part of Europe and has its role in protecting important values ​​of biodiversity. Ensuring their survival is the responsibility of all citizens, and the EU is with Serbia in this process,” concluded Ambassador Fabrizi.

The opening of the photo exhibition marks the World Wildlife Day 2021, to celebrate the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. In 2021, the theme is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”, as a way to highlight the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally.

The exhibition “Natura 2000 in the frame” will be opened on Kalemegdan Fortress from March 5 to April 2021.

More information about the NATURA2000 network project can be found in the brochure.

The European Union is the world leader in environmental protection. The EU supports Serbia on its path to a healthier environment. With over 400 million EUR in non-refundable grants invested in environmental protection and climate action in Serbia, the EU is the largest donor in this area in the country.

With EU’s financial support, Serbia is working to develop and implement plans for the strategic protection of environment—a sustainable system of environmental protection that creates healthier surroundings and raises the quality of life.