The fundamental idea of KEERC is to promote a sustainable and ecologically resilient economy and to strengthen the commitment to nature conservation. This entails educating students and researchers about ecological interdependencies as well as enhancing ecological research as a policy-supporting science. The center will host courses, serve as a base for student excursions, and feature a well-equipped laboratory for ecological research.

Additionally, KEERC houses a public nature exhibition showcasing Kosovo’s natural treasures. It welcomes educators, researchers, and NGOs for training and offers temporary accommodation to local and international ecologists. Collaborators include the University of Prishtina, Prizren, Konstanz etc.

What is to be achieved with this center?

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The center will be a place for hosting courses (for example, introductory courses) and a starting point for excursions with students and pupils. It will have a space for courses/a laboratory with optical equipment and other tools for ecological research. It will also serve as a teaching resource for park rangers

In addition, a public nature exhibition will be developed (prepared specimens of birds and mammals, fossils and skeletons, alcoholic materials, insect boxes, herbaria, animal tracks, local rocks, and minerals). These provide registered groups (with prior arrangements) and spontaneous visitors with an initial overview of the natural treasures of Kosovo and serve tourists as a visitor center for the nearby natural park.

Who will be active in KEERC?

In addition, KEERC will be available for use by university lecturers, school teachers, specialized researchers, nature park supervisors, and environmentally-focused NGO collaborators for further education purposes. Furthermore, KEERC will offer local and international ecologists a temporary place of residence.

To ensure the functioning of the center, a biologist will be employed locally. He or she will be responsible for collection, providing guidance and courses, maintenance, and housekeeping. Additionally, a facility manager will be hired to address technical needs, and a caretaker will be employed.

Is there currently an existing building ready?

Yes! To accommodate KEERC, the municipality of Junik has provided the building of a former commune in the direction of Deçan, which will serve as the center.

Who will be the project partners?

KEERC will be jointly used by lecturers from the University of Prishtina, Peja, Prizren, Gjakova, and Konstanz (Germany), as well as students from local schools, the Environmental Responsibility Action Group (ERA) in Peja, and supervisors of natural parks. Other project partners also include the municipality of Junik, the National Museum in Prishtina, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning with natural park management, and the Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA).

How is KEERC financed and organized?

The funding (for renovation/personal equipment payments/incidental expenses) has not yet been determined but will undoubtedly come from various sources. Requests will be directed to ministries, state institutions, various organizations both within and outside the country, and private donors.

The organizational work of the center will be undertaken by the newly established KEERC Association, which collaborates with specialized biology fields at the University of Prishtina and Konstanz, as well as with KEPA.