Serbia is characterized by a rich and diverse natural heritage reflected through a wide range of geological, geomorphological, pedological, climatic, hydrological and biological diversity. A large number of diverse plant and animal species, their communities and ecosystems make out of Serbia a small-scale Europe and one of the centers of its biodiversity.
In order to preserve special natural values and improve their condition, individual parts or ecosystems of nature, as well as species, are declared protected natural assets.
State Enterprise for Forest Management “Srbijašume” manages protected areas on a land surface area of 371,295.49 ha, which makes up 51.2% of the total surface area of protected areas in the Republic of Serbia (724,663 ha or 8.18% of the country).
By Acts on Protected Area Designation, SE “Srbijašume” has been appointed manager of 57 protected areas, i. e., manager of 38 protected areas of national importance on a surface area of 365,336.81 ha established by Decrees of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and 19 protected areas of local importance on a surface area of 5,958.68 ha established by local governments and the City of Belgrade. The surface area structure of the protected areas by ownership is as follows: state-owned – 180,760.53 ha (48.68%); private and other ownership – 190,534.96 ha (51.52%).
Preservation, protection and promotion of natural values is part of the strategy and one of the key goals in the business policy of SE “Srbijašume”, the leading enterprise in managing protected areas. Of the total surface area of the protected areas, 11,147.89 ha (3.00%) are under 1st degree protection regime, 69,399.23 ha (18.69%) – under 2nd degree protection regime, and 290,748.36 ha (78.31%) – under 3rd degree protection regime.