FBiH Minister of Environment and Tourism, Dr Edita Đapo discussed in Sarajevo with the Director of the Resource Environmental Center (REC), Ms. Lejla Šuman about the implementation of the project ” NEST “Fostering environmental protection through more effective civil society participation in environmental governance and combating environmental crimes” funded by the Government of Sweden.
Ms. Šuman noted on the on the project’s technical and professional support that will be provided to the relevant Ministries of Environment at all levels of government in BiH with the aim of improving the legal framework by developing and adopting new laws, bylaws, and regulations with special focus on environmental impact assessment and the environmental permitting process. This will result in a greater degree of legislative alignment with the EU directives and strengthening of institutional capacities for their implementation. Moreover, the project will assist in establishing active cooperation with domestic and international judicial institutions and organizations in connection with the development and enforcement of EU legislation in preventing environmental crimes.
Minister Đapo emphasized the importance of the project and the remarkable progress that has been made in the last two months that led to improving the existing legal framework in the FBiH and the transposition of EU legislation in the field of industrial pollution by adopting new regulations and rulebooks regulating issuing of environmental permits. The FBiH Government has adopted the following implementing regulations:
- Regulation on projects for which an environmental impact assessment is mandatory and projects for which a decision is made on the need for an environmental impact assessment
- Regulation determining the plants and facilities for which an environmental permit is mandatory
- Rulebook on plants, facilities, and warehouses in which hazardous substances that may lead to large-scale accidents are present
- Rulebook on determining the conditions and criteria to be included in the list of experts that may be appointed to expert commissions for the assessment of environmental impact studies
- Rulebook on the content of the environmental impact assessment.
Harmonization of environmental policies, regulations, and institutional capacities in the Federation of BiH with the requirements for BiH’s integration into the EU and the approximation to EU standards in the field of environmental protection are some of the strategic goals of the FBiH Government Program and this Program’s activities provide full support to their realization.
Ms. Šuman expressed her satisfaction with the activities and efforts of the FBiH Ministry of Environment and Tourism in the implementation of project activities in the past period stressing that the continuation of cooperation in drafting new regulations leading to improvement of legal framework, resulting in better environmental conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is expected in the coming period as well.
With appreciation to the Swedish Government for providing strong support to other environmental institutions in BiH once again, the conclusion was drawn on the continuation of the successful cooperation between these two institutions in the future, both within this specific project and within all others that are implemented by REC.