A bridge over a tranquil river in Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bridge over tranquil river in Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Luka Korica / Unsplash .

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is embarking on the preparation of an environmental strategy and action plan. The BiH Environmental Strategy and Action Plan 2030+ will:

  • build on existing and past strategic environmental documents to strengthen current environmental governance in BiH, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), Republika Srpska (RS), and Brčko District (BD)
  • support BiH in its European Union approximation through the alignment of the environemtnal strategy with EU environmental acquis
  • provide a roadmap for future environmental-sector measures and investments, and mechanisms for their implementation beyond 2030.

While progress has been made over the last decade in addressing environmental issues, there is still scope to improve legislative frameworks and enforcement of environmental policies in BiH. BiH-, entity- and district-level authorities (with the support of Stockholm Environment Institute, SEI, from Sweden) aim to develop an overarching strategic document. It will consist of:

  • a BiH environmental strategy and action plan
  • coherent environmental strategies and action plans for the three entities/districts: theFBiH, the RS and the BD.

The BiH ESAP 2030+ will provide a long-term planning framework, allowing for coherent environmental practices and actions across the country. The BiH ESAP 2030+ will be a critical tool for relevant authorities to reach environmental sustainability and improved citizen health and well-being for current and future generations across the country.

The BiH ESAP 2030+ will include BiH level shared strategic environmental goals and principles, thematic goals and targets, and feasible measures and activities. These goals, targets and actions will be aligned to the sub-themes of the EU environmental acquis. The BiH ESAP 2030+ will facilitate monitoring and reporting of the set environmental goals and targets, and help track progress in the country’s efforts to become an EU member.

Planned activities for the preparation of the BiH ESAP 2030+

Over this 2.5 year long project the SEI team will support relevant BiH-, entity and district-level authorities to collaboratively develop the BiH ESAP 2030+. The preparation of the strategy will be carried out between September 2019 and April 2022. This preparation is financially supported by the Swedish Embassy, and includes the following:

  • assessing the current state of the BiH environment
  • supporting the definition of environmental policy in BiH
  • capacity building of organisations, institutions, networks and other relevant actors in BiH to design, implement and monitor environmental policy measures, particularly in the area of cooperation with EU institutions
  • assessing and defining needs for financial resources and human capacity for BiH ESAP 2030+ implementation
  • awareness raising related to environmental issues in BiH, with a focus on the general public.

Ramsko lake, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Getty Images, Santiago Urquijo