Sarajevo is a city enriched with some of the most beautiful nature areas in the world. These areas are not only places where citizens may find peace and calm away from the city buzz, but they are habitats of a vast number of animal and plant species that are precious for the wellbeing of ecosystems. CENER 21 is ardent and fully committed in the efforts of protecting nature and, this year, we had the honor of working on an awareness-raising initiative in our home basis. 

The ​​Sarajevo Canton has five declared protected nature areas managed by the Cantonal Public Institution for Protected Nature Areas of the Sarajevo Canton (KJUZPP KS). All of these areas are characterized by exceptional biological, geological, hydrological and cultural-historical diversity. They are crucial points for conservation and protection of biodiversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For instance, the famous ​​Vrelo Bosne, located in the area of ​​the Sarajevsko polje spring, supplies close to 95% of the canton population with drinking water. Nevertheless, through our preparation of management plans for protected areas of the Sarajevo Canton, and through numerous field visits, a very low level of awareness about the importance of nature preservation has been established among citizens. For this reason, irresponsible behavior such as improper waste disposal and a non-domestic attitude towards existing infrastructure continues to exist.

CENER 21 commenced an initiative called “We know and protect natural values of Canton Sarajevo,” which involves a series of activities that contribute to raising public awareness about the importance of nature protection in the Canton, while using creative and innovative methods. The concept revolves around the direct involvement of young people as ambassadors of protected areas. 12 participants have gone through an intense video production, photography and social media bootcamp for the purpose of forming a young team that will continuously collaborate and help with increasing awareness among citizens in the Canton. Each of the participants was tasked with producing engaging and creative social media posts. and videos about protected nature areas as a part of an awareness-raising campaign that is bound to provoke a mindset shift in the canton society. Furthermore, we are organizing fun educational activities in each of the protected nature areas, where citizens of all ages can participate and learn about the ecosystems of the five protected areas in the Sarajevo Canton. 

The project entails a close collaboration with municipalities and the Cantonal Public Institution for Protected Nature Areas of the Sarajevo Canton (KJUZPP KS), since they are key stakeholders for sustainable development of nature areas. 

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