EU funded projects in BiH

The right of BiH citizent to healthy environment

PROJECT DETAILS

Sectors Environment
EU Acquis chapters Environment
Programme Funding Year 2008
Value €65,556
Periods of implementation 2011
Locations LUKAVAC, DERVENTA

Results

With the European Union funding, this project had significant impact on enhancing mechanisms for implementation of the Aarhus Convention at local level. Two local waste management plans in two municipalities of Derventa and Lukavac are created in accordance with principles of the Aarhus Convention and promotion of the process to foster policy dialogue on implementation of the Aarhus Convention and waste management legislation in BiH is ensured. Also, capacities of selected local NGOs are improved via forms of interactive work (workshops and seminars), education (trainings) and dialogue with stakeholders and citizens. In accordance with provisions of the Convention, web-based environmental databases are open for public access and guidelines for citizen engagement in environmental decision-making were made and institutionalized. Furthermore, citizens' awareness for participation in environmental decision-making and government-NGO dialogue is increased by undertaking series of public awareness campaigns. Thus, the public participation was facilitated in the process of Waste Management Plan making, from early stages and the public was timely informed about all important events in the process. Citizens’ inputs were taken into account and incorporated in the final versions of the Plans. By such actions, we contributed to more responsible environment treatment, better local partnerships in decision making and management of environmental protection mechanisms as well as to better promotion of the country's environmental protection and natural resources.

SUMMARY

Environment is a high ranking issue on the European agenda and increasingly so with regard to its interventions in BiH. The BiH and the European Unions' strategic documents stress the importance of proper implementation of the environmental acquis. While the official responsibility for compliance lies with the BiH authorities, the NGO community has a very important role to complement the work of the administration by signalling infractions, collecting of information, coordinating the pilot project and educating citizens about their rights and obligations. BiH environmental NGOs have developed considerably over the past decade. Further support to their capacity building and know how improvements has been recognised as valuable for their becoming full and complementary partners of the administration in implementation of the environmental acquis. The European Union has recognised those needs, and provided series of development projects to contribute to encouragement of the partnership between governmental and non-governmental sectors with the aim of effective implementation of EU standards in environment in BiH. In that respect, this European Union project aimed at introducing framework for effective implementation of the provisions of Aarhus Convention in BiH by establishing mechanisms for implementation of this Convention in two piloted municipalities (Derventa and Lukavac) via technical assistance to local administrations to make local waste management plans in consultation with the public and in accordance with citizen needs i.e. principles of the Aarhus Convention and by building capacities of NGOs for participation in environmental-decision making and monitoring of implementation of environmental strategies, laws and action plans. The Aarhus Convention represents a peculiar piece of the international environmental legislation which establishes democratic rights of citizens with regard to the environment. The effective implementation of the Aarhus Convention assumes actions at all levels of authority and in all parts of the country. Since its ratification in BiH in summer 2008, more improvements are needed in its implementation. Therefore, it is necessary to foster initiatives for advocacy and lobbying for implementation of the Convention, especially at the local level, to which the project contributed at large extent.

RESULTS

With the European Union funding, this project had significant impact on enhancing mechanisms for implementation of the Aarhus Convention at local level. Two local waste management plans in two municipalities of Derventa and Lukavac are created in accordance with principles of the Aarhus Convention and promotion of the process to foster policy dialogue on implementation of the Aarhus Convention and waste management legislation in BiH is ensured. Also, capacities of selected local NGOs are improved via forms of interactive work (workshops and seminars), education (trainings) and dialogue with stakeholders and citizens. In accordance with provisions of the Convention, web-based environmental databases are open for public access and guidelines for citizen engagement in environmental decision-making were made and institutionalized. Furthermore, citizens' awareness for participation in environmental decision-making and government-NGO dialogue is increased by undertaking series of public awareness campaigns. Thus, the public participation was facilitated in the process of Waste Management Plan making, from early stages and the public was timely informed about all important events in the process. Citizens’ inputs were taken into account and incorporated in the final versions of the Plans. By such actions, we contributed to more responsible environment treatment, better local partnerships in decision making and management of environmental protection mechanisms as well as to better promotion of the country's environmental protection and natural resources.