Previous activities and plans
The initial idea came about in 2013 at the University of Konstanz during the planning of an “Ecological Summer School” (G. Schmitz/L. Hoxha / M. Hoxha) at which German and Kosovar students visit natural areas in Kosovo together to record the species inventory. In addition, numerous contacts were made in Kosovo in 2014 (especially with the University of Prishtina and KEPA), so that the first of five 12-day summer schools could take place in 2015 (2020 and ’21 canceled due to Corona). The survey data was regularly made available to KEPA. Since 2016, a lively exchange between the two universities has been maintained through successfully acquired ERASMUS funds (meetings between the professors and stays abroad for students). The concept of a KEERC was further refined through numerous discussions. However, it also became clear that neither the University of Prishtina nor a community can establish and maintain the center on their own.
As of 2018, there are more concrete planning ideas for accommodating such a center on the former KFOR camp in Prizren (today: Innovation and Training Park = ITP). More detailed talks with GIZ have already taken place. The University of Konstanz was then offered to hold the next summer schools here (former soldiers’ accommodation), which was also arranged in 2019.
The ITP site is an excellent location for KEERC. To do this, one of the soldiers’ quarters would have to be converted (conversion plans are available).
What is missing?
Financing planning for a) the conversion and the initial setup, b) commitment to long-term financing of the running costs (staff, electricity, water, rent, etc.)
Concept for managing KEERC
What is available?
Extensive data and collection material from the various summer schools; Preparations for a natural history exhibition
Equipment (ecological recording devices, laboratory materials, laboratory furniture, literature)
Extensive contacts to authorities, educational institutions, NGOs and experts on site
A network of Kosovars in exile in Germany and Switzerland (support commitments for financing).
We see the establishment of such a center as essential in order to significantly and sustainably improve the natural and environmental situation in Kosovo, to promote environmental education and to help young people in Kosovo to find a life perspective for themselves and locally.
For these reasons, we see the establishment of the center as a national task that should be set up and financed in the long term by the state of Kosovo.
We help – where we can!