The story of the B3P
Like many other organizations, B3P was started by a group of people who passionately believed in an idea and were determined to make it happen. B3P is a genuinely grassroots network bringing together a diverse selection of people: academics, artists, environmental activists both in the Balkans around the globe, and of course local people living and working in the valleys and villages of Northern Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo.
Graham Watson, former Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar, is a Patron of the Balkans Peace Park Project.
“The European Union has done a great deal to secure peace and prosperity for its members, but has been deeply troubled by conflict in South East Europe. Whilst EU membership remains a beacon of hope for Balkan countries, schemes like the Balkan Peace Park Project are vitally important to peace in Europe. The Project rises above the politics that have plagued the region, and instead focuses on the issues that are common to Albanians, Kosovans and Montenegrins alike; protecting the shared natural environment and promoting a sustainable economic prosperity for all those living in the area. For me, this embodies both the spirit of liberalism and European integration, and I am therefore proud to be a Patron of the Balkans Peace Park Project.” (former MEP Graham Watson:, 2010)
What is a Peace Park?
The idea of a peace park is not new or far-fetched. The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), based in Switzerland, has listed over 600 ‘transboundary protected areas’ which straddle international boundaries (see Links section). About 25 of these are specifically dedicated as ‘Peace Parks,’ symbols of peace and cooperation between countries where sometimes there has been serious conflict. One of the first was the Morokulien between Norway and Sweden set up in 1914.
The people of B3P include individuals from Albania, Kosovo/a, and Montenegro; volunteers, academics, and financial supports from around the world; and our Committee.
Joint Chairpersons: Kelsey Aho and Sylvia Shatwell
Kelsey first volunteered with B3P Summer Programmes in 2012 in Vermosh and Lëpushë. Inspired, she co-coordinated three of the Summer Programmes in 2014 (Peje, Kosovo; Plav, Montenegro; Vermosh and Lëpushë, Albania) and 2015 (Valbona, Vermosh, and Plav). Kelsey works for a Regional Environmental Center of Central and Eastern Europe – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency project. Kelsey’s family is from Sisak, Croatia.
Sylvia also volunteered with B3P Summer Programmes for the first time in 2012 in Vermosh and Lëpushë. In March 2014 she travelled through Albania and into Montenegro to establish links and plan for the first Montenegrin Summer Programme at Babino Polje, Montenegro. She returned as a volunteer with the Montenegrin Summer Programme in 2015 at Babino Polje and Grebaje. Sylvia is a social worker and works for Barnardo’s children’s charity in the UK. She is also on the steering group for the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s ‘Green
Futures’ programme and supports young people to access outdoors and environmental focused activities.
Secretary: Ulrike Gös
Ulrike, who comes from Hamburg, was a volunteer on all the 2016 Summer Programmes (Rugova, Kosovo/a; Valbona, Lëpushë, Vermosh, Albania; Babino Polje and Grbaje, Montenegro). She was back again for Lëpushë in 2017. She has also done some mountain trekking from Vermosh with Jonid (Tirana). Early in 2018, Ulrike snowshoed her way through Lëpushë with Regina and Jonid. A truly ardent B3P supporter!
Treasurer: John Milsom
Honorary Vice-President and Regional Coordinator: Jonid Sula
Other Committee Members: Gillian Akhtar, Jen Dyer, Richard Hargreaves, Antonela Melonari, John Milsom, Antonia Young (Chair 2004-2009, current Correspondence Secretary), Nigel Young (Chair 2016)
Previous Committee Members: Keith Bowden, Howard Boyd, Ted Brown (Chair 2001-4), Marjana Dworski, Jen Dyer (Chair 2016-7), Gina Greenley, Artan Karini, Ann Kennard (President 2014, Chairperson 2009-2013), Teresa Lappe-Osthege (Co-Chair 2018), Barry O’Conner, Ebru Oliver, Nick Oliver, Tom Phillips, Wendy Price, Angela Selmani, Peter Spafford (Chair 2015)