Signature of the contract between the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans and the Civil Society Organizations Volontari nel Mondo and Centro Laici Italiani per le Missioni took place for the execution of the project “NaturKosovo: the natural and cultural capital in Kosovo and the sustainable tourism development of the Via Dinarica”.
The initiative, worth 1,8 million euro, will last three years, from 2022 to 2024. Its goal is to support the socio-economic development and stability of local communities. To achieve it, Italy will share some of its best practices in mountain rescue, public management of environmental resources and responsible tourism offer.
Partner in Kosovo for the implementation of the initiative is the Utalaya Foundation, the organization of the mountaineer Uta Ibrahimi, the first Kosovar woman to have climbed Everest, nominated Sustainable Development Goals Champion by the United Nations, with a long-term commitment in the preservation of the environment, the defense of gender equality and the empowerment of the new generations. Italian partners of the initiative are also the Italian Alpine Club, the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps and the Italian Association for Responsible Tourism.
“Institutional governance adequate to European standards, virtuous economic cycles for micro tourism businesses and creation of new jobs are results that may contribute concretely to a new sense of identity among local communities, preventing territorial conflicts and risk of emigration”, stated the Italian Ambassador in Kosovo Antonello De Riu and the Representative of AICS Office Stefania Vizzaccaro.
In this perspective, the Italian Embassy in Pristina and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, in close collaboration with the authorities of Kosovo, will continue their commitment to the rapid development of the Via Dinarica as a path crossing the Western Balkan countries with the strength of its natural and cultural beauty, which is already fully European.