Nature protection and biodiversity - National Responses (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
- Nature and biodiversity
The basic legal act regulating the protection of the natural heritage is the Law on Nature Protection (Official Gazette Nos.67/04, 14/06 and 84/07). Under this, the system of protected areas was established for the purpose of protecting biological diversity within natural habitats, natural processes, as well as abiotic characteristics and landscape diversity. By declaring an area protected, it acquires the status of natural heritage.
The Law on Nature Protection, which incorporates the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for protected areas categorisation, provides for the establishment of the following six categories of protected areas:
1. Strict nature reserve
2. National park
3. Monument of nature
4. Nature park
5. Protected landscape
6. Multi-purpose area.
The Ib-area – wilderness – is the only IUCN category that has not yet been introduced.
The Natura 2000 Network in the European context is a continuation of the process of establishing the Pan-European Ecological Network and national ecological networks. It consists of SPAs declared under the Directive concerning wild bird protection (ЕЕС 79/409) and Special SACs declared under the Directive on natural habitats, wild fauna and flora (ЕЕС 92/43). Taking into account that the criteria for the identification of Emerald sites under the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats are compatible with those for establishment of areas of Natura 2000 (EU Bird Directive and EU Habitat Directive), the establishment of Natura 2000 sites has been significantly advanced. Future steps in this process will be specified in the Action Plan that is under elaboration.