Empowering communities in the Shar Mt. region for sustainable management in North Macedonia and Kosovo

The transboundary project is implemented by the Center for Education and Development in partnership with the Macedonian Ecological Society and Local Action Group Sharri - Kosovo from November 2023 to February 2025.

Sheep farmers in the Shar Mountains describe the challenges they face in the region. The initiative targeted a focus group of farmers to provide some equipment and capacity building on marketing strategies. © Diturim Xheladini


The project in the Shar Mountain region addresses habitat destruction and resource overexploitation due to urbanisation and other human activities. It focuses on educating local communities and promoting sustainable practices such as rural tourism. The initiative aims to preserve cultural landscapes and strengthen the relationship between national park authorities and local communities, contributing to the sustainable development of the Balkan Green Belt.



The project aims to promote cooperation between stakeholders in the Shar Mountain region and to increase awareness and acceptance of regulations for sustainable resource management. It focuses on strengthening rural tourism and building trust between national park authorities and local communities. The aim is to turn informed local communities into allies in the management of the protected areas and to promote sustainable development and conservation in the region.



The project aims to achieve its objectives through the following approach and activities:

  • Stakeholder involvement: municipality forums will strengthen collaboration between local governments and stakeholders for an effective management of the Shar Mountain National Park.
  • Capacity building: youth trainings will build skills in entrepreneurship, cultural preservation, and environmental sustainability.
  • Cross-border cooperation: cross-border activities will facilitate tourism development, local branding and the empowerment of local communities and small businesses in the Shar mountains of North Macedonia and Kosovo.
Farmers from Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo display their products from the year. They have joined forces with other organisations and farmers to protect this area, which is protected in all three countries. © Veli Veliu

Expected Results

The project aims to promote cooperation and positively influence the sustainable use of resources by:

  • Eaising awareness for sustainable resources use among at least 150 local residents.
  • Training and inspiring 20 to 30 young people in entrepreneurship and rural tourism.
  • Increasing the understanding of Shar Mountain's natural values among 120 students.
  • Promoting the natural values of the European Green Belt and Shar Mountain through events and fairs, reaching at least 150 people and fostering local community involvement and cooperation.

Empowering communities in the Shar Mt. region for sustainable management along the European Green Belt

The project is implemented in the Shar Mountain region in North Macedonia and Kosovo.

Center for Education and Development (CED)
Old School Building”, 1224, Tearce
North Macedonia

Website: www.ced.org.mk

Nearest city: Tetovo

Contact person for the BESTbelt project: Metin Muaremi metin.muaremi(at)ced.org.mk

Duration: 15 months

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