Using management effectiveness tracking tool (MEET) as a step forward towards more efficient management of protected areas in Macedonia

frosina-klimoska-strucen-trud | Brainster Next College
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Frosina Klimoska
Brainster, R.N. Macedonia


With technological development and technical achievements, and certainly with the growth the human population, the increased energy needs, and economic development are inevitable in achieving high economic parameters of the countries, regions and beyond. Of course, achieving a high economic standard versus limited resources on the planet can have a destructive effect on the environment and its surroundings, which means a greater environmental hazard. Therefore, the protection of the environment has become imperative in the direction of achieving economic, energy and environmental sustainability. Having in mind that 13.3% of the territory of the country falls under protected areas, we should be aware of risk that wrong management can have a destructive effect in more ways. Regular using of METT analysis leads to more effective management which can be used for various purposes and each of them
leading to improvement.

Keywords: METT, protected areas, national parks, management, environment


The purpose of this research is to explain the current situation with the protected areas in and determinate the importance of using METT as a step toward improvement of PAs management. Throughout direct research this paper should give as an

  • overview of the current situation in our country with managing the protected areas, categorizations and legislative
  • which protected areas management body who are using METT

Using an operational methods for collecting data we’ll make a comparison between few protected areas and it’s difference in their progress. Protected area management effectiveness literature includes many papers using the METT, and different approaches, to assess the management effectiveness of suites of protected areas. Many studies and management plans are also giving us an information (Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas Guidelines for Planning and Management, Paul F. J.; Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas, Lee Thomas and Julie Middleton). Throughout collecting data and its analyzing will be given answers and recommendation in accordance with this research.

3.1 Overview of the protected areas in the country
In the first part 3.1 will be given the overview of the protected areas in the country, how are they managed, laws applicable on protection, and future plans. 3.11 Protected areas and overview. 3.1.2 Laws and documents. For 3.2 part will be presented protected areas that have used METT Protected areas in N. Macedonia.

Biodiversity of North Macedonia is supported by a high degree of endemism and heterogeneity. This is due its geographical position and the impact on the land in the past. The specific terrains formed between mountains, valleys and ravines have caused the intertwining of different climate influences. As a result of these environmental conditions our country has a huge potential for developing biodiversity thus protecting those areas which are of a significant importance for our country and the wider region.

To be more specific about 120 habitats are present on the territory of our country, classificated on third level from the IUCN classification, and those belong to 28 ecosystems.

3.1.1 Protected areas categories
Protected and proposed areas for protection, target 11.5% of the territory on the ground. The Law on declaring Sharr Mountain as NP increased the % of protected areas at the national level from 10.8% to 13.3% of the territory of the country. With this was made a huge progress and exceeded the projected percentage of protected areas of 11.5% of the territory of our country, which was determined by 2020 in the Sector Study for protection of natural heritage, which was prepared for the needs of the Spatial Plan of the country (2004-2020). As per Article 65 of the Law on Nature one area is subject to proclamation as a protected area so the biodiversity within the natural habitat and area system can be maintained and protected from different threats. By proclaiming the protected area, it received a status of Natural heritage. Pursuant to Article 66 of the Law on Nature Protection, six (6) categories of protected areas have been accepted in compliance with the categorization of IUCN

Table 1. Categories of protected areas have been accepted in compliance with the categorization of IUCN

Most of the PAs fall into the category of NPs with around 4.47%, then natural monuments with 3.07% and the multipurpose area Jasen with 0,97% of the country’s territory.

3.1.2 Laws and documents

In most of the cases a protected area is governed or managed by a Federal or national ministry or agency and for some of them as Ohrid Lake there is still no a management body. This is expected to happen soon as there is a management plan made with a whole structure for public enterprise that will take care of the lake. Protected areas are part of the country’s Natural heritage, and they are very important for managing the biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystems. Pursuant to Article 98 paragraph (2) of the Law on Nature Protection, the Minister of Environment and Physical Planning in 2012 adopted а Rulebook on the content of protected areas Management Plans and annual nature protection programs.

The Rulebook prescribes the content of the protected area management plans and the annual nature protection programs: Preservation and monitoring of the natural heritage, Sustainable use of natural resources in the area; Management of forest habitats and ecosystems; Cultural heritage management; Development of sustainable tourism and recreation; Local development (with emphasis on maintaining traditional economic activities); Informing, raising public awareness and education; and Management , financing and administration. What is most important for this research is that each protected area in Macedonia that has a management body should complete a METT each year – its request by Ministry of Environment.

Other relevant document for protected area management are:

  • Spatial plan of the Republic of Macedonia (2004-2020)
    Protected and proposed areas for protection, target 11.5% of the territory on the ground
    The Law on declaring Shar Mountain as NP increased the % of protected areas at the national level from 10.8% to 13.3% of the territory of the country. With this was made a huge progress and exceeded the projected percentage of protected areas of 11.5% of the territory of our country, which was determined by 2020 in the Sector Study for protection of natural heritage, which was prepared for the needs of the Spatial Plan of the country ( 2004-2020)
  • National strategy for protection of Nature (2017-2027)
    This Strategy itself explains the vision, main objectives and strategic goals for nature protection while representing framework combinations of a series of strategic components and approaches. The Strategy also defines the guidelines for nature conservation, the manner of its implementation in accordance with the economic, social and cultural development of the Republic of North Macedonia and is prepared on the basis of the Study on the State of Geological Diversity and Geological Heritage of the Republic of Macedonia as well as other Components of Nature (biological and landscape diversity and all the interacting elements of the ecological system). The National Strategy for Nature Protection will also contribute to more efficient implementation of the national
    legislation and the obligations from the EU legislation, that is, the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. Also will have a positive impact on the implementation of the three UN Framework Conventions (Convention for the Protection of Biodiversity, the Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification), as well as the international ratified documents in the area of nature protection.
  • National Biological Strategy diversity with an Action Plan (2018-2023)
    The Strategic Plan calls for the establishment of specific national targets, involvement of all stakeholders and integration of biological diversity aspects in all sectors of the society. Full and effective implementation of this strategic plan is possible to achieve only through common commitment of all Parties to the Convention throughout the decade. It contains 5 strategic goals each having a targets for its implementation.
    • Strategic goal A: Is pointing out the underlying causes for biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.
    • Strategic goal B: Stands for reducing the direct pressure on biodiversity thus promoting the sustainable use.
    • Strategic goal C: Safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity in the country and protecting the biodiversity. Goal 11 of this part stands for increasing the PAs up to 15%.
    • Strategic goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • Strategic goal E: Improving the implementation with support of participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building for this purpose.
  • Protected Area Management Plan

PA Management plan is a planning document in which the entity in charge of the protected area is planning and determining the measures and activities for protection of the natural heritage.

– the content prescribed in a by law

– harmonized with the Spatial Plan of the Republic of Macedonia and other acts adopted by the management entity

– for a period of ten/five years, based on which annual programs are prepared

– Control over the implementation of plans is performed by the competent state body (MoEPP)

3.2 Protected areas using METT assignment
There is no database which can give us an preview of completed METT assignment. From the research I’ve found out that NP Galichica is competing METT on regular basis. Also the newest National Park Shar Mounties have completed it, but the score is very low due to fact that the management was just starting with work at that time. From a data collected from the NP Galichica management we have information that METT has been used almost every year and there is a need for evaluation. They are using it rather for planning and processes that for improvement. Their management is also giving training for using METT on other protected areas in the country.

In the following chart (extracted from the NP Galichica last METT assgiment) and see

Chart 2. METT scores per management element NP Galichica 2021


Since its launching, the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) become the world’s most
applied tool for assessing management effectiveness. It has been applied to over 2,500 Protected Areas
(PAs) in more than 120 countries. Management body of NP Galichica is regularly using METT especially
after advanced version of the tool. Whereas the original METT is set of 30 questions, the METT-4 has
additional questions that have been incorporated to strengthen the usefulness of the tool itself and look
and adding better view on threats to values, climate change adaptation and conservation status of key
indicator species and habitats. METT-4 was prepared for KfW (Advanced METT) and the process of
adaptation was with permission through a WWF/IUCN convened process in the end of 2019 and early

Because METT is generic tool and open source, authors can freely modify, shorten, extend and translate
in accordance with the protected area goals and aims, as well as the current situation. Having a regular
practise of completing METT will definitely have benefit of the overall management of the area, great
outlook of the situation and tracking the progress or digress.


[1] 2019. Handbook of Environmental Engineering Calculations.
[2] Karen Beazley, Robert Baldwin; Biodiversity and Protected Areas, Special Issue, MDPI Basel, Switzerland
2019A.A. Author, Book Title. City/State: Publisher, Year of Publication.
[3] National Strategy for Nature Protection 2017-2027, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.
[4] Dudley, N. (Editor) (2008): Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories. Gland,
[5] IUCN WCPA Best Practice Guidance on Recognising Protected Areas and Assigning Management
Categories and Governance Types, Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 21, Gland,
[6] Tracking progress in managing protected areas around the world WWF International June 2007
[7] NP Galichica METT-4 advanced


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