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SEI’s Bernardas Padegimas explains how Sweden helps Bosnia and Herzegovina protect the environment

SEI’s Bernardas Padegimas explained to Al Jazeera Balkans about how SEI and Sweden are helping Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) develop an environmental strategy and action plan.

Published on 5 January 2022
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Anneli Sundin /

Winter landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Winter landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Adnan Bubalo.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is famous for its natural beauty, dense forests, blue rivers and green lakes. At the same time, BiH is becoming notorious for the poor treatment of the environment. The complex structure of the governance hampers efforts to protect the environment due to the colliding interests of representatives at local entities and national institutions.

To address the problem, BiH authorities approached the Embassy of Sweden in BiH and asked for help in developing an environmental strategy and action plan for the whole of BiH at all four levels of government. The Embassy of Sweden in turn approached SEI and asked it to provide technical support in the preparation of this Strategy and Action Plan.

The complex structure among the jurisdictions is one of the main reasons for the previously sluggish development of the environmental protection in BiH. However, BiH ESAP was initiated at the request of the authorities by the Embassy of Sweden to support its preparation. BiH will comply with the recommendations and measures defined in the strategy because they were defined by multiple stakeholders and all the participants feel ownership over the strategy. The role of SEI has been solely to provide support and expertise.

Bernardas Padegimas, BiH ESAP 2030+ project manager


Bernardas Padegimas
Bernardas Padegimas

Team Leader: Environmental Policy and Strategy

SEI Headquarters

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