Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mainstreaming environmental governance: linking local and national action in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina has made significant strides in economic stabilisation and national cohesion in the two decades since the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. However, the environment sector is critically stagnant: there is a lack of environmental policy and legislation, poorly developed management and implementation capacities, little public participation in environmental decision-making and a lack of reliable information and data. The Joint Programme's goal was to boost local management of environmental resources and service delivery by improving environmental governance and developing replicable models for environmental planning.
Interventions centred around:
- Providing capacity for developing Local Environmental Action Plans;
- Providing seed funding for local service delivery priorities;
- Raising awareness and national level support for environmental action through an environmental innovation fund; and
- Creating systems for capturing environmental data.
In order to facilitate such matters, comprehensive planning mechanisms were designed to provide innovative actions based on strategic-planning documents. Besides emphasizing the ability of stakeholders from local to national levels to play a positive role, they were founded on inclusive environmental governance principles and the idea that successful environmental services require both horizontal and vertical cooperation.
Main achievements included:
With the programme's support, 37 new municipal Action Plans were drawn up to underpin the development of local environmental governance capacity and introduce planning methodologies. 527 members from Local Action Groups were trained in the Long range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) process. Altogether 12,418 people (LEAP Coordinators, Local Action Groups, consultants, NGOs, public/private companies, citizens, etc.) participated in a variety of LEAP activities through public meetings and questionnaire surveys.
Municipalities demonstrated their effective resource management as partners in the micro-capital grants scheme, distributing 19 grants (up to 50% of the project cost) in support of actions identified in the Plans to solve the most pressing problems.
Local level developments, lessons and best practice were used to influence policy development and mobilize awareness on environmental issues. Nationally, the complex legal and institutional background for environmental governance was reviewed and a ‘road map’ prepared. A Designated National Authority for the Kyoto Protocol was established, and a gap analysis for an Environmental Information System was prepared for BiH’s future environmental administration.
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