Reducing disaster risks and preventing floods through the implementation of Nature-based Solutions in Gledić (Kraljevo), Serbia

IUCN, ADAPT "Nature-based Solutions for Resilient Societies in the Western Balkans” Project
Published: 27 April 2023
Last edited: 27 April 2023
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The City of Kraljevo is highly vulnerable to disasters, particularly floods, landslides, and earthquakes. The risk of floods is specifically high due to degraded forests and erosion, having a negative effect on the community livelihood, especially for women and vulnerable groups.

Mapping landscape restoration opportunities, based on a series of field visits and consultations with local stakeholders, preceded the process of designing the NbS interventions. As a result of these processes, the catchment area of the Gledić River, located in the Gledić Mountains was selected as a location for pilot project implementation.

The focus of NbS intervention will be Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) measures aimed to improve forest structure and reduce flood risk and soil erosion in Gledić. The intervention will also maximise the use of local resources and autochthonous species to achieve sustained forest restoration and disaster risk reduction. 


East Europe
Scale of implementation
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Temperate deciduous forest
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Disaster risk reduction
Erosion prevention
Flood management
Forest Management
Indigenous people
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Watershed management
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Sendai Framework
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP by 2030


Kraljevo, Raška District, Serbia


Kraljevo municipality faces serious degradation of natural ecosystems: forests, rivers, pastures, etc. Frequent rainfall, degraded land and forests cause torrential flows and floods, and without appropriate vegetation cover to absorb precipitation, the water runs “freely” down the hills, causing torrents and surface runoffs that merge further into floods.

Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) measures increase forest stability and resilience, reduce erosion, and stabilise and increase the water retention capacity of the soil. The forest’s current degraded structure will be improved by transition from coppice to high forest, reducing the flood risk and soil erosion in Gledić. Consequently, the intervention will prevent infrastructure damage due to flooding downstream on the Gledić River, including damage to seven bridges, endangering populated areas along the watercourse.

The planned intervention will ensure restoration of natural habitats, particularly forests, pastures and farmlands, thus increasing biodiversity. Through the creation of a silvopastoral system, conditions for cattle breeding will be improved. This approach, together with increased forest resilience and an improved state of natural ecosystems, will enhance the livelihood of local inhabitants in Gledic, particularly women and vulnerable groups.

Contributed by

milica.radanovic_42022's picture

Milica Radanovic IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Other contributors

Prof Dr Ratko Ristić
Faculty of Foresrty, University of Belgrade
Aleksandar Cvetković
Kraljevo City Council
Marica Mijajlović
Public Enterprise for maintenance of construction land