Community developed heritage in Peja, Kosovo

Posted on: 26th December 2020

2020 has brought many challenges, but also opportunities. The involuntary deceleration opens up space to analyze existing structures. It is precisely in times of crisis that innovative upheavals and committed projects are taking place. Because of travel restrictions, transnational projects have shifted to digital space, including our collaboration with the Kosovarian association Let’s do it, Peja. The Wonderland experts are working on a sustainable approach to activate heritage while bringing local stakeholders together and strengthening the community to develop the heritage assets collectively. Initial meetings with local stakeholder and project partner revealed the great undertakes in tourism and that the region already elaborated with foreign partners through another BACID funded project, a sustainable tourism concept. Austrian experts saw the driving and connecting force of the tourism use of the heritage sites and unanimously decided to build up on previous efforts in this project. 

Since the end of the Kosovo war, a steady increase in overnight guests has been noticeable. This year, however, has led to a decline in the tourism industry everywhere. For the next years, it requires a strategic approach to sustainable tourism, benefitting the local population. In the frame of this project, two online workshops with local stakeholders took place, which enabled an exchange of knowledge and ideas between Kosovo and Austria. 

We believe that its foundation is based on fruitful collaboration between local stakeholders and a respectful approach to cultural heritage and nature. We intend our Austrian team’s input to give new perspectives on existing structures and resources and thus lead to more efficient use of those. The goal is to involve the community in activation of heritage and valorise the assets with sustainable and slow tourism.

The objectives of the project are directed towards the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The project is funded by the BACID grant and the Federal Chancellery of Austria.