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Osogovo Mountains in the Balkan Green Belt: the Balkan Green Belt, which naturally covers the Osogovo Mountains, is part of the European Green Belt--a network that connects regions with exceptional values and runs through 22 European countries along the borders of former "iron curtain".

Representatives of Macedonia's ecologic association, whose experts have worked intensively over the past three years on valorization of the natural values of the Osogovo Mountains, released their proposal-some mountains to be put in the fifth category of protected territories, namely to be declared as a protected region. The following concrete steps are to be agreed also together with the Bulgarian partner of the Trans-border Conference on the future of Osogovo, which is to be held toward the end of November.

The researches on Osogovo are being carried out since 2007 within the framework of the cross-border project between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria--"Osogovo Mountains in the Balkan green belt". Partners that are carrying out the project from the Macedonian side are" Macedonian ecologic association with financial aid from the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS); R&R Nova Ltd. with financial support from Pro Natura--Friends from Switzerland and the Movement for sustainable progress from Kocani. The project's central objective is to provide more efficient protection of the mountain's natural values and rational use of the natural resources by forming a new cross-border protected region and sustainable economic progress in the region supported by the local governments and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.

Macedonian municipalities, involved in this project, are: Kocani, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Probistip, Makedonska Kamenica, Rankovce and Cesinovo-Oblesevo.

The European Green Belt is a network that connects areas with exceptional values that are frequently preserved through protection categories (national parks, nature parks, nature monuments, biosphere reserves ...). This belt runs through 22 European countries along the borders of former "iron curtain".

The Balkan Green Belt that naturally covers the Osogovo Mountains is part of the European Green Belt and represents an opportunity for cross-border collaboration in the field of protection of natural values and sustainable progress, especially in the rural areas, between countries from the Balkan region. At the moment, a total of 187, 895 hectares (7.31 % of the total surface) are registered at 82 locations out of which 20 are individual trees. Pursuant to international conventions and agreements that are signed by the country, an increase of 12 percent is envisaged for the number of protected areas and their total surface.

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Over the last three years, great percent of the population from this region, directly or indirectly participated in the activities of the "Osogovo Mountains in the Balkan Green Belt" project.
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Title Annotation:TOURISM
Publication:Macedonian Business Monthly
Date:Oct 1, 2010
Words:400
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