Within the Interreg IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between Greece - Republic of Macedonia, the Centre for Development of the South-East Planning Region started with the implementation of two new projects.

The first project is "Common plans for biodiversity conservation and sustainable targets for the development of a bilateral network of protected areas" ("COMBINE2PROTECT"), The overall objective of the project is to provide the most appropriate instruments for promoting the biodiversity conservation capacity and their dissemination to a broad a range of users to ensure sustainability, effective management of protected areas, an increase in the number of species, habitats and protected ecosystems, and the improvement of conservation tools.

The Centre for Development of the South-East Planning Region is a lead partner in the implementation of this project, while project partners are the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, the State Environmental Inspectorate, R. Macedonia and the Region of Western Macedonia, Greece.

One of the main activities foreseen for the project is the preparation of a regional biodiversity Strategy with an Action plan. An expert team will be hired to create and develop the Strategy, and it will cover the whole South-East planning region.

The project has a total budget of 1.269.000,10 EUR, and will be implemented 24 months until April 2020.

The second project is the "Integrated Operations Center for Providing Humanitarian Assistance" ("HELP"), whose main objective is to improve the strategic and operational efficiency of public administration and public services in disaster management in a cross-border area by providing an integrated solution for technical support and management of post-catastrophic humanitarian relief operations and logistics on-site.

Partners of the Centre for Development of the South-East Planning Region in the implementation of the project are: Committee for Research of the Technological Educational Institute of Central Macedonia, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Serres - Greece, Ministry of Internal Affairs (Sector Macedonia - Thrace), Greek Rescue Team of Greece and the Crisis Management Center, R. Macedonia.

The main activity of the project is designing and developing a container, equipped with radio stations, satellite communications, GSM, Wi-Fi and other customized tools. Such a container is called “Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Center” (C4I) and is expected to increase the capacity of public authorities in dealing with natural disasters and crises in the cross-border area Greece - Macedonia.

The project is with a total budget of 905.553,30 EUR, and it will be implemented 18 months until October 2019.

Funds

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is part of the package for external relations. IPA and other elements of the package are a great opportunity for streamlining and simplifying the procedures of the European Commission and improving the coherence and coordination of the activities of the Commission.

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