Galicica National Park - a Way Forward to Desired Protected Area Management

Public Institution Galicica National Park
Published: 20 December 2021
Last edited: 20 December 2021
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Summary

The rich and important forest biodiversity of the Galicica was the principal reason for declaring it a National Park, back in 1958. Restoration of degraded forest habitats was therefore of highest priority in the first three decades after the proclamation. The firewood produced in the process generated revenues that covered the operational costs of the park that started off with limited resources. As the park administration and its operational costs grew over the next few decades, and being financed exclusively from self-generated income, economic goals often trumped nature conservation, hampering the further progress in restoring the forests to a more natural condition. With the predominant income from firewood production for the park, the progress on conserving forest biodiversity was limited. It was only after the financial support from PONT that the park management could decouple the financing of its key operations from the direct use of forests. This was achieved in 2020.

Classifications

Region
East Europe
Scale of implementation
Subnational
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate evergreen forest
Theme
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Ecosystem services
Erosion prevention
Forest Management
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Local actors
Protected and conserved areas governance
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Sustainable financing
Tourism
Water provision and management
Watershed management
World Heritage
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Status Assessment
Species Monitoring and Research
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Challenges
Avalanche/landslide
Wildfires
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Inefficient management of financial resources
Infrastructure development
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation

Location

Ohrid, North Macedonia | Galicica National Park
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Impacts

The first Management Plan for the park, developed in 2021 with a grant from the KfW Development Bank, identified the key biodiversity values of the park, including many forest habitats hosting a high number of endemic and threatened species, and set out specific objectives to conserve them. While the volume of wood extracted was gradually declining from 2015, the contribution of revenues from other sources increased moderately. It was only after the financial support from Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) that the park management could decouple the financing of its key operations from the direct use of forest resources. By eliminating wood harvesting, the park management reached an important milestone in achieving and maintaining favourable conservation status of the forest habitats in the park, and with that the long-term survival of the associated plants and animals, many of which are endemic, rare, or threatened. The new Management Plan of 2021, developed by the park staff and with support from PONT, provides for active management of the forest habitats in the park to achieve specific conservation objectives, such as improving their structure and function attributes or removal of alien and invasive species.

Contributed by

andon.bojadzi_41291's picture

Andon Bojadzi Public Institution Galicica National Park, North Macedonia

Other contributors

Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust
Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust