‘’Biking the Balkans’’ is a project that has been organized by UNESCO. The aim of the program is to renew co-operation between the countries of Balkan, to point out on the regions which are under protection as natural and culture reservations (national parks) and to point necessity for so called development. A bicycle was chosen as the most appropriate mean of transport.
Background & Objectives
Organized by UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, ‘Biking the Balkans’ is a meta-event of a series of scientific, cultural, sporting, and nature conservation related happenings. It intends to emphasize the idea of sustainable development as a result of interaction between local initiatives and their global networking.
Participants from various European countries will cross the Western Balkans, from 24th June to 15th July 2006, biking within eleven different sites of natural and cultural international importance. The aim is to discover unique environmental situations, discuss with stakeholders crucial issues related to the sustainability of local territorial dynamics and demonstrate concrete solidarity and openness to cultural diversity and local traditions and practices! A bicycle was chosen as the most appropriate means of transport, a symbol of sustainable method of transportation for territorial exploration.
The caravan visited and explored Padua (Italy, Venice (Italy), Triglav National Park (Slovenia), Lonjsko Polije (Croatia), Belgrade (Serbia), Djerdap National Park (Serbia), Studenica (Serbia), Durmitor (Montenegro), Sutjeska (Bosnia Herzegovina), Skadar Lake (Albania) and Ohrid (FYR of Macedonia)
Specific sites were chosen as promoted in particular by UNESCO in World Heritage sites and Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserves, and connected to initiatives with major partners in this project, including cooperation with governmental institutions in each country in pursuing innovative missions, and international organization in supporting governments’ efforts in making critical steps toward sustainable development strategy.
At every site on the route there will be an opportunity to debate issues that are of relevance to UNESCO’s involvement in South-Eastern Europe in the future. The current rapidly-changing territorial dynamics occurring in South-Eastern European countries are challenging major political, social, economic and environmental aspects of local and national development. This calls for identification and implementation of appropriate mechanisms of trans-scale governance.
The event is organized, promoted and coordinated by UNESCO-BRESCE, with the support of UNESCO National Commissions and MAB National Committees of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Albania, of FYR Macedonia. This multi-faced media-tracked event will be prepared in cooperation with Dinaric Arc Initiative (DAI) partners and members of the European Cycling Federation (ECF), and with the patronage and support of the Veneto Region, Province of Venice, Municipalities of Padua, Venice and Belgrade.
The ultimate goal of the Biking the Balkans is to raise public awareness on local territorial development issues and to draw the attention of policy/decision-makers and stakeholders to the essential role of natural and cultural diversity in fostering local sustainable development. The event will increase the visibility of UNESCO’s commitment to the promotion of innovative approaches to this form of development within the framework of its scientific and cultural mandate, and promote and effectively strengthen a dialogue among different stakeholders at local, national and regional levels. Consecutively, this occasion will represent a unique opportunity for interested local and national stakeholders to renew their commitment to shared goals, and for all engaged partners to seek more continuous and effective support for their action.
European biking organization employed Jugo Cycling Campaign to conduct Promotional activities and also organize appropriate reception, “fun” and appropriate “cycle” agenda at several locations in Former Yugoslavia and Albania. Eleven different sites of natural and cultural international importance in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and FYR of Macedonia were recognized for the route.
Transport for participants from one stop to another is organized by interchange from bus to bicycle, namely with two busses, along the track on the picture, while in every site which has been visited a short bicycle bout and tracking program is organized. Ecological workshops and education in protection of living environment are organized at each specific stop site on the route.
‘’Biking the Balkans’’ has been organized just once in 2006, and in 2007. it has been canceled for continuation since there were no interested sponsors for the program.
No new updates as of 2011.