The Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia is a governmental institution which has been performing activities related to the protection and improvement of Serbia's natural heritage for more than half a century. On the basis of research results and evaluation of the natural resources of a certain region, status and level of the ecosystem endangerment, the Institute's experts propose protection, i.e. type, category, measures and level of protection for natural areas.

Founded by the Decree of the People's Republic of Serbia of 30 April 1948, the Institute has gone through many changes. Today it is an institution seated in Belgrade, with branch offices in Novi Sad, Niš and Priština, and performs its tasks through research, nature conservancy and administrative departments. In accordance with its statutory tasks and authorizations, the Institute's field of activity is vast and diverse and includes, inter alia, the following:

• Protection procedure activation: developing of scientific-expert studies as a proposal for initiation of the procedure for legal protection of a certain region. Studies are the result of scientific and expert work of the Institute's multidisciplinary teams that conduct field research throughout Serbia.

• Revision of the protected natural areas: expert surveillance, monitoring of the status of a natural area, undertaking necessary measures of passive or active protection o f certain formations, ecosystems or populations in a natural area, e xpert assistance a nd cooperation with the management of natural areas, giving opinions or defining terms regarding hunting, fishing, forest and other legal basis, and documentation on regional planning and different activities in the area.

• Research activities: studying biological diversity a s the premise for passive and active protection and improvement of species, populations and their habitats; and studying geological diversity a s the premise for legal protection of certain objects of geoheritage or areas, and presentation and publishing scientific findings in the field of geo- and biodiversity.

• Education, presentation and publishing activities: promotional and educational programmes and campaigns aimed at informing the general public with the Institute's activities, the natural values of Serbia and necessary protection of the national natural resources in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

• International cooperation: participation of the Institute as member of the IUCN (World Conservation Union), EUROPARC Federation, ProGEO (European Association for Geoheritage Conservation) and ECNC (European Centre for Nature Conservation) is particularly important. The IUCN SEE Office is located in the Institute's premises in Belgrade. Within the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) project, the Institute proposes Serbian regions for a biosphere reserve and, in cooperation with the National Commission for UNESCO, has proposed a list of regions for the Programme of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage. Representatives of the Institute participate in international projects, and participate in the implementation of international conventions.

Goran Sekulić
Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia
Dr Ivana Ribara 91, 11070 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: + 381 11 2093 852