The City of Kraljevo is characterized by the increased risk of floods due to degraded forests and soil erosion caused by the excessive woodcutting in the past, made to provide space for agriculture, construction, settlements, etc. The social-economic and environmental challenges identified are related to high risk of flooding combined with low ecosystem resilience that often have negative influence on income and livelihood within affected local communities.
The increased risk of floods due to degraded forests and erosion, leading to landslides, represents a challenge for the whole territory of Kraljevo.The selected site – Gledić – is characterised by disturbed sites (landslides) and degraded forest that lack the desired structure. Accordingly, the site is characterised by high risks of floods and soil erosion, low biodiversity, weak forest resilience, and negative effects on community livelihood, especially for women and vulnerable groups.
The proposed FLR measures represents application of Nature-based solution that will enhance protection of existing ecosystems by maximizing the use of local resources and autochthonous species, increase forest stability and thus reduce erosion and flood risks and improve community resilience in Gledić and in the City of Kraljevo,. The appropriate FLR measures on a selected hilltop (though the intervention is also possible in the surrounding hills) will significantly reduce the risk of torrents and flooding on both sides of the hill, thereby reducing the pressure on the Jablanica River.
The Forest Landscape Restauration (FLR) measures will be implemented on the selected site in Gledić, due to the high risks of flood and soil erosion, decrease or complete loss of biodiversity, weak forest resilience, and negative effects on the community livelihood, especially for women and vulnerable groups.
1. Stakeholder engagement for identification of the priority area for FLR intervention in the City of Kraljevo
In the City of Kraljevo, identification of the priority area for FLR interventions was conducted through application of the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology - ROAM (IUCN and WRI, 2014). Various inputs were used to identify and prioritize the priority area and potential interventions:
- local knowledge map produced after several rounds of analytical workshops with stakeholders;
- results of desk research on biodiversity, socio-economic and gender issues, and
- data collected during field visits.
2. Desing of the pilot Project in Gledić including detailed Forest Landspace Restoration measures:
- Natural Forest Rehabilitation (NFR)
- Rehabilitation by planting
- Underplanting and enrichment planting
- Loose-Stone Check Dams
- Creating of silvopastoral system by fencing of pasture
Kraljevo municipality faces serious degradation of natural ecosystems: forests, rivers, pastures, etc. Frequent rainfall, degraded land and forests cause torrential flows and floods, and without appropriate vegetation cover to absorb precipitation, the water runs “freely” down the hills, causing torrents and surface runoffs that merge further into floods.
Forest Landscape Restauration (FLR) measures increase forest stability and resilience, reduce erosion, and stabilise and increase the water retention capacity of the soil. The forest’s current degraded structure will be improved by transition from coppice to high forest, reducing the flood risk and soil erosion in Gledić. Consequently, the intervention will prevent infrastructure damage due to flooding downstream on the Gledić River, including damage to seven bridges, endangering populated areas along the watercourse.
The planned intervention will ensure restoration of natural habitats, particularly forests, pastures and farmlands, thus increasing biodiversity. Through the creation of a silvopastoral system, conditions for cattle breeding will be improved. This approach, together with increased forest resilience and an improved state of natural ecosystems, will enhance the livelihood of local inhabitants in Gledic, particularly women and vulnerable groups.
- Forest restoration of degraded land in Gledić
- Enhance biodiversity
- Increase forest stability and resilience
- Stabilize the soil and reduce erosion
- Improve community resilience to flood risks
- Increase security of existing and create conditions for additional income from non-timber products for local inhabitants
- Improve livelihood conditions, especially for women and vulnerable groups
- Additional income to 200 members of local community by enabling high value timber and non-wood forests products
- Decline danger on app 30,000 inhabitants along the waterway by preventing infrastructure damage caused by flooding downstream
About 200 inhabitants of Gledić village will be directly affected by the project, becoming more flood resilient. However, the population that will benefit from the decreased flood risk is far greater downstream, and approaches 30,000 people.
- Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience
- Increasing infiltration
- Reduce drought risk
- Reduce flood risk
- Reduce run-off
- Developing climate change mitigation
- Carbon sequestration and storage
- Restoring ecosystems and their functions
- Increase Biodiversity
- Enhancing sustainable urbanisation
- Increase awareness of NBS solution & their effectiveness and co benefits
- Increase communities’ sense of ownership
- Increase population & infrastructures protected by NBS
- Increase stakeholder awareness & knowledge about NBS
- Social learning about location & importance of NBS
The proposed FLR measures represents application of Nature-based solution that will enhance protection of existing ecosystems by maximizing the use of local resources and autochthonous species, increase forest stability and thus reduce erosion and flood risks and improve community resilience in Gledić and the City of Kraljevo, serving at the same time as an example for multiplication in other similar locations in Kraljevo and throughout Serbia.
The process of multi-stakeholder involvement is a valuable element in both the design and implementation stages of the project. Participation of local communities in the project design supported their role in decision making processes, particularly the role of women and indigenous people, helping them become more proactive in promoting their community among other local stakeholders and decision makers.
Stakeholder inputs during project development:
- identifying areas for improvement in existing land use and forest management systems;
- offering different perspectives on various aspects of the proposed pilot project;
- preventing “tunnel vision” perception of the issue;
- identifying possible and probable sources of resistance, and institutional or other constraints;
- promoting and advertising the pilot project to the public.
Stakeholder meetings were primarily organised to gain inputs from stakeholders. However, they also served to raise their understanding and knowledge on nature protection, conservation, FLR measures and NbS, and to enable their interaction and networking.
- 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
- 13. Climate Action