As a country in transition, Bosnia and Herzegovina must address a significant number of social, economic and other issues in the post-war period. Among these, environmental protection presents a major challenge.
An analysis of the current status of the environmental civil sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina revealed a number of aspects related to the operation of civil society organisations (CSOs) that require support. Despite the strengthening of CSO capacities in many respects in recent years, there remains an urgent need to improve the ability of CSOs to influence decision making. The capacities of CSOs to lobby for policy change, participate in decision making and act as partners in dialogue with the government are still weak. There is a clear need to strengthen CSOs to become more proactive advocates and lobbyists for concrete policy changes in the environmental field and to position themselves as key partners in government–civil sector dialogue.
Overall objective of the project is to improve environmental governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina by supporting CSOs to effectively participate in policy-making and decision-making processes, thus contributing to key reforms and the further transposition and implementation of the EU environmental acquis in the country.
The project is structured according to five pillars of action for the joint delivery of the overall objective:
- capacity building;
- financial support/sub-granting;
- legislative improvements;
- networking and active participation; and
- awareness raising.
Project implementation is anchored in the CSOs — both project partners and beneficiaries — as the agents of change who will initiate policy and awareness changes. Success is also dependent on the active participation of the media, as the catalyst for awareness raising.
Various capacity-building tools will be used to train civil society leaders and to strengthen cooperation among CSOs, as well as cooperation between authorities and civil society, in order to enhance the influence of CSOs in decision making on environmental and sustainable development issues.
The project activities are divided into six components:
- Promotion and outreach
- Capacity building
- Project support (grants to environmental CSOs)
- Dialogue and networking
- Media (awareness raising and public outreach)
- Development of a waste management plan for Republika Srpska
- Environmental CSOs participating in the program have increased their capacity to actively influence the country’s environmental policy.
- The regulatory framework governing EIA and SEA issues has been improved.
- A sustainable network of CSOs capable of understanding and clearly communicating the principles and procedures of EIA and SEA, as well as advocating for their implementation, has been established.
- Local communities and media have increased their knowledge and awareness for active participation in decision-making and reporting processes.
- Environmental institutions from the Republic of Srpska have strengthened their capacities for waste management planning, thus enabling to achieve EU environmental standards and support to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the EU accession process.
Project duration: 36 months (December 2017 – December 2020)
Overall project value: 1,457,000 EUR
Coordinator: REC- Resource Environmental Center
Source of funding / Donor: Government of Sweden