The closing event of the EU funded project “Strengthening of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Environmental Institutions and Preparation for Pre-accession Funds” (“EnvIS”) took place today at the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), in Sarajevo.

The project is part of the extensive EU support to the environment sector in BiH, including environmental infrastructure projects, in the amount of nearly 90 Million Euro, allocated under the IPA 2007 – 2011 programmes.

The EnvIS project contributed to strengthening technical, administrative and programming capacities of the institutions involved in environment management in BiH in line with the EU IPA requirements (specifically in regard to IPA II), and enhancing the  process of EU approximation in the environment sector.

The implementation of the project outputs, proposals and recommendations by the responsible beneficiary Institutions will also contribute to meeting the conditions for further EU support to the environment sector under IPA II, which is conditional on existence of adopted country wide strategies and improved coordination amongst all stakeholders.

Melvin Asin, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH said: “The EU is in the process of preparing a second phase of IPA funding for the region, including BiH, for the period 2014-2020. This shows the significant and concrete commitment from the EU to the people of BiH and to the continuous development of the country. However, due to the absence of a country level sectoral strategy and the backlog in implementation of existing projects, the environment sector has not been included for EU support under IPA 2012 – 2015. I believe that the project that we are officially closing today has contributed to meeting these requirement.“

During the three-year project implementation period, 53 different documents have been prepared. Among others the most important are the draft text of the countrywide Environmental Approximation Strategy with its three implementing strategies for the Entities and Brcko District of BiH, four draft texts of Directive Specific Implementation Plans (DSIPs), each with three separate Action Plans for Implementation of the Directive (APIDs) at the Entity and Brcko District level, three draft texts of Implementation Plans (IPs) for the implementation of three international environmental treaties, each with three separate Plans of Actions (PoA) for the Entity and Brcko District level, draft proposal for a countrywide Environmental Data Management and Reporting Strategy and proposal for establishing countrywide coordinated Environmental Project Pipeline System for identification and financing of accession driven priority projects.

Marko Slokar, Project‘s Team Leader said: ”The official strategic documents prepared on the basis of the project EnvIS outputs and adopted by the relevant competent institutions in BiH could significantly contribute to the progress of Environmental sector in the process of EU approximation and could provide conditions in the sector to access to IPA II funds.”

The EnvIS project contributed to better understanding of the EU environmental approximation and of the European integration process amongst the officials from the competent institutions in BiH; assisted in drafting the Environmental Approximation Strategy with implementing measures for the EU acquis; contributed to improved implementation of international environmental agreements; proposed the improvements of the environmental data management and reporting system, communication of environmental institutions with the public and contributed to enhanced capacities of competent authorities in project preparation, appraisal and investment planning.

The project “Strengthening of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Environmental Institutions and Preparation for Pre-accession Funds” (“EnvIS”) is financed by the European Union in the amount of  2.879.600,00 Euro from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA 2008). The project was implemented by by Eptisa Servicios de Ingenieria S.L. from Madrid, Spain in consortium with ECORYS, Nederland BV.