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On August 22, 2021, the Run For Sharr sky running marathon and awareness campaign supported by WWF Adrian and the UN Kosovo team ended successfully. The campaign aimed to inspire activism to protect nature by viewing parks and mountains as allies against global warming. A group of 15 runners of various profiles and professions set off on an 80 km run from Luboten to Piribegi and photographed both beautiful and endangered areas of the Shari Mountains. Brezovica camp marked the end of the 17 km run of the first day. The following days included runs to Bistra, Guzhbaba, Konjushka, Black Peak, Great and Small Vërtop, and activities such as climbing Vrakas and hiking to Lake Shutman. The Utalaya Foundation, which organizes the marathon, emphasizes the contagious effect of such initiatives in raising awareness and involving different communities in promoting nature protection. A video campaign documenting this 4-day adventure was produced during the activities.

After years of research and after three months of dedicated work in the breathtaking Sharr Mountains, the premiere of Run for Sharr was held on 23 November 2023 at Kino Armata; a heartfelt short film made with love. Uta Ibrahimi and her team shared a unique and emotional video testimony documenting their four-day journey through Sharr. This cinematic masterpiece, a collaboration between passionate people, features powerful shots by cinematographers Igor Jovanovski, Aleksandar Saveski and Valon Demiqi. With the moving narrative of Shpat Deda and the lively energy of our friends Ardi, Vullnet, Blerta, Vali, Menda, Abi, Urimi, Esini and the dedicated organizations led by Metodi, Tuba and the Era of Utalaya Foundation Team, the film is compelling a mixture of beauty and devastation. The audience experienced stunning views of abundant flora, fauna and mountain peaks along with depressing waste heaps and mini-hydroelectric buildings. Editor Enis Saraqi played a key role in bringing these elements together, supported by Alexandar Krstevski on color assignment, Valon Dervisholli on sound recording and Edona on finding the perfect music. The premiere became a forum for key messages about the urgent need to preserve Sharr.
CEO of WWF Adria Nataša Kalauz spoke at the event, among others, who highlighted the challenges associated with insufficient funding of protected areas.
Producer Uta Ibrahimi gave an emotional speech highlighting the mountains; intrinsic value for both environmental protection and mental well-being. Also deputy minister Linda Çavdarbasha and head of the Office of the UN Development Coordinator in Kosovo Lorik Pustina spoke to the public and emphasized the importance of sustainable development and shared responsibility in reporting on environmental crimes. The premiere was attended by government representatives and embassy officials, creating a powerful forum for Sharri conservation and beyond.

Special thanks to all the good-willed managers and directors of local businesses who respond positively to every initiative that tries to inspire change such as :
  • Green and Protein – For feeding our teams with healthy and delicious food
  • Foto Gagi – For personalizing the shirts of our runners, team members, and volunteers that joined the event, with the main objective of inspiring people and younger generations for the protection of our natural heritage.
  • Frutomania – For keeping our teams refreshed during these hot days.
  • Sporting – For high-quality sports shirts that kept our bodies cool during the sky running
  • The better travel Co – For transporting our teams and runners for 4 days in a row to different points
  • N’bjeshke Agroturizem – For offering their rooms and service during our stay on the third day, and making us feel at home
  • Komiteti Studio – For designing the brand identity of Run for Sharr
  • She Wine – for the drinks during the premiere.

Run for Sharr was supported by WWF Adria and UN Kosovo – in support and promotion of SDGs.

By the time the project ended, these were the action points we identified :

  • Increasing the number of management staff and capacity in NP Sharri (currently 18 employees, according to the management plan 52 employees are needed)
  • Budget allocation dedicated for the capital investments in NP
  • Zoning of the park
  • Prevention of illegal logging through sustainable forest management by protection zones
  • Prevention of illegal hunting/poaching
  • Strict supervision of constructions based on the spatial and management plan
  • Prohibition of the construction of hydropower plants within the NP
  • Preventing and monitoring of forest fires
  • Protection of the river basin and preventing water pollution
  • Wastewater treatment and waste management