First Regional Training was held within the SVAP Project

In Sarajevo, on 10 – 11 October 2023, the FIRST REGIONAL TRAINING was organized on the topic “Strengthening regional cooperation for the watershed condition assessment and water management in the Western Balkans” within the project “Rapid Watershed Assessment for the Western Balkans “, which is funded by the U.S. Forestry Service/ Department of Agriculture.

Participants on the training were representatives of municipalities and environmental CSOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo, with the presence of donors (representatives of the U.S. Forestry Service/ Department of Agriculture).

The aim of the training was:

  • Present the activities and experiences in the Western Balkans countries in water management at the local level.
  • Present experience in good management of protected areas (which include water resources).
  • Present experiences and tools applied in the USA at the local level.
  • Networking among stakeholders at the regional level to plan joint future activities.

The activities and tools used in this area in the USA were presented by Ms. Kelsey Aho (Forest Service Watershed Program Manager for Europe and Eurasia) and Mr. Voislav Todorov (Forest Service Balkans Project Coordinator ).

The current situation in FBiH and the legal framework in the field of nature protection and water management was presented by Ms. Zineta Mujaković, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Representatives of the municipalities from the above-mentioned countries spoke about experiences in water management at the local level.

The participation of environmental CSOs in environmental decision-making processes and initiatives for good water management were presented by colleagues from the Center for the Environment from Banja Luka.

The second day was dedicated to water management in protected areas. Our host was Ms. Denisa Dedić, on behalf of public institution responsible for protected natural areas in Sarajevo Canton. As part of the training, we visited the protected area of the Vrelo Bosne Nature Monument and tested the practical application of the SVAP tool.

The participants shared experiences in the application of best practices for water management at the local level and got acquainted with the SVAP tool, which will be useful in the future for more effective water management in local communities.