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UNESCO declares Mount Golija Yugoslavia's first biosphere reserve

Ivanjica, September 16 (Tanjug) - UNESCO has proclaimed Mount Golija the first biosphere reserve in Yugoslavia and one of only 400 such sites on Earth.

As part of the Man and Biosphere Programme, the Serbian government nominated the Mount Golija National Park as a biosphere reserve in July and the UNESCO decision came only three months later, Serbian Nature Protection Institute Director Radomir Mandic said, and added that this was an unprecedented example, since the normal procedure lasted between three and five years.

The official certificate should arrive in Belgrade in the course of the coming week, after which products from Mount Golija can be advertised as rare examples from a biosphere reserve.

Mount Golija National Park consists of 75,000 ha of untouched natural resources, with a wide variety of plant species.

Endemic maple trees and the area's cultural heritage, which includes the Mediaeval Studenica, Klisura, Sopocani and Stari Ras monasteries, are what make this mountain so special.

According to environmental experts, Mount Golija's plants account for 25 percent of Serbia's flora and are grown in 32 local villages and 150 hamlets.

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