On Monday September 30, 2019, the Green Economy Caravan was held as part of the ‘’Green Caravan 2019’’ activity under the NAGE project (supported by EU). The event was also financially supported by the Ministry of Environment Republic of Serbia through the project ‘’Caravan of the Green Economy’’ which jointly implement Network for Rural Development of Serbia and organization UNECOOP from Paracin.
The caravan participants (representatives of CSOs and business sector) visited two protected areas in the Srem region: the Special Nature Reserve ‘’Obedska Bara’’ and protected area ‘’Bojčinska Šuma’’ .
During the visit, participants were introduced to the natural values of these protected areas, as well as to the created values that contribute to the valorisation of natural capital. Management authorities of these protected areas and professors from the Faculty of Applied Ecology Futura from Belgrade presented models of good management and development of green economy in these protected areas:
- Breeding of old autochthonous animal varieties from this area (mangulas, buffaloes, donkeys, lipizzaner horses…) These animals represent a large reserve of good genetic material, enrich the tourist offer and use for food products, and at the same time State give subsidies to preserve this animals,
- Catering which relies on using of traditional food products in the area like own offer (own products and products procured by the local population: meat products, milk, donkeys and goat cheese…), as well as direct sale of these products in a catering facility which is in protected area ('' Eco Shop ''),
- Equestrian club within the protected area (Lipizzaner horses are used for riding and recreation, as well as for working with disabled children),
- Plantation of energy trees (miscanthus) used for firewood and as green building material,
- Construction of folk building structures from natural ''green building materials'' from this region (cane, straw, mud, soil, stone, wood) and their use on modern way (summer ‘’green classroom’’ for organizing training and for students),
- green economy tourist offer (bird watching, boat drive, photo safari, hiking on ''health'' trails, educating young people how to survive in nature ...).
The caravan participants shared their experiences on the development of a green economy in protected areas as a model that improves natural values in the field while encouraging the development of the local economy through improved content, better promotion and more successful placement of goods and services of the local population.