Establishment of the User Council: "Kraljevac" Special Nature Reserve Receives Management Support

18. Oct 2023.

The Association of Sports Fishermen "Deliblatsko Jezero," which manages the "Kraljevac" Special Nature Reserve, founded the User Council of this protected area on October 13, 2023. This council aims to ensure more effective management by connecting with the local community.


This is the first such council in a protected area in Serbia, apart from national parks where it is a legal obligation. For other protected areas, it is a significant recommendation from the Nature Protection Law. Therefore, the importance of this initiative is greater, and the decision to establish the council was supported by the "Together for the Environment" project.

The purpose of establishing the User Council is to align the interests of the local population, reserve users, as well as organizations, institutions, and companies operating in the protected area or its immediate surroundings. The goal is to find the right balance between strict protection rules and other interests through good management.

"It is important for us to establish, through the User Council, a mechanism that will support the good management and preservation of natural resources in Kraljevac," said Aleksandar Sarmeš, the manager of the "Kraljevac" Special Nature Reserve.

The User Council of the "Kraljevac" SRP consists of nine members and includes individuals living and working on the outskirts of the Deliblatska Sands. It comprises one representative each from the Municipality of Kovin, the Deliblato Local Community, the Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Kovin, the Public Enterprise "Vojvodina Forests," the "Paja Marganović" Elementary School in Deliblato, the Hunters Association "Deliblato," a representative of all farmers, one for all businesses in the area, and a representative of the Ecological Association of Rural Tourism "Deliblato Oasis."

The establishment of the User Council took place in a friendly atmosphere, emphasizing the importance of future collaboration at the local level and the exchange of new ideas. Their desire is to work on long-term planning and contribute together to the preservation and protection of this area. It is highlighted that there is a need to promote the significance of the reserve and its tourist potential by reviving former events. They also agree on focusing on education and reconnecting children with nature.

"I believe that today's establishment of the User Council in Kraljevac will be an example of good practice and encourage other managers of protected areas to involve representatives of their local governments, organizations, and associations whose activities take place there," said Sarmeš, emphasizing the importance of proper involvement of the local community to ensure that Kraljevac remains a preserved piece of nature.

This pioneering initiative was encouraged by consulting support, guidelines and practical advice contained in the Guide for the establishment of the Council of Users, which was developed by the Young Researchers of Serbia through the project "Together for the Environment."

"A significant part of the project activities of the Young Researchers of Serbia is intended for managers of protected areas, and they will, in turn, ensure the inclusion of citizens, as they will do from today through the User Council in Kraljevac. Only in this way does our joint work on the protection and preservation of nature make sense," emphasized Aleksandra Dimić from Young Researchers of Serbia.

The "Together for the Environment" project is implemented by the Belgrade Open School (BOS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Young Researchers of Serbia (YRS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia (AmCham), and the ENECA association.