The Western Balkans is a designation used (most commonly by the European Union) for a region which includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. The region, considered mountainous in its own right, includes the Dinaric Arc mountain range, which stretches across Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Mountains and the complex terrain of the region have contributed to shaping this region, forging strong local identities and, with external influences, producing a complex matrix of several languages, religions, and world views. The region retains some of Europe’s richest areas with regards to natural habitats, biological diversity, karst phenomena and lakes and rivers. With the exception of Albania, all the countries of the Western Balkans were formerly part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which dissolved in 1991. While the rest of emerging Europe transitioned peacefully out of communism and into democracy, many Western Balkans countries spent the 1990s engulfed in con_ict following this disintegration, which caused widespread devastation, delayed the countries’ economic transformation and has resulted in markedly lower living standards compared with the EU countries. Yet in the 2000s, these countries all made impressive gains in rebuilding their war-torn economies and transitioning to market economies.
From collection: Outlook on Climate Change Adaptation in the Western Balkan Mountains
GRID-Arendal and Cartografare il Presente/Nieves Izquierdo