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The beekeeper protecting Kosovo’s forests

November 5, 2020

Kosovo's Sharr Mountains National Park is a paradise of biodiversity under threat. A local beekeper is working to save it through education.

Kosovo Shar-Nationalpark
Image: Holger Trzeczak/DW

Kosovo: Organic honey from the mountains

The Cold War divide between East and West Europe known as the Iron Curtain was in places one of the most heavily guarded borders in the world. But with people forbidden access, nature found a space in which to bloom. The border area became a Green Belt of rich biodiversity running 12,000 kilometers across Europe. 

The Sharr Mountains National Park is situated in the section of the European Green Belt that runs through Kosovo. The young state has struggled to enforce the park's protected status and it is threatened by illegal logging and dumping. There are just eight rangers charged with looking after its 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres). 

Beekeeper Shqipe Shala produces organic honey in the Sharr Mountains National Park. She has taken up the cause of protecting the land where her bees forage, and runs conservation courses. Shala is convinced that teaching people to understand nature will help them learn to value and protect it. 

A film by Holger Trzeczak.