Local Biodiversity Action Planning in the Western Balkans

Local Biodiversity Action Planning in the Western Balkans

Source of funding


Name of client/donor

European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC)

Overall project value

EUR 334,460


June 2012 – November 2013

Beneficiary countries

Albania | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Kosovo* | Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | Montenegro | Serbia

Number of staff


Local biodiversity action plans (LBAPs) are strategic documents that bring together community interests, values and perspectives, set priorities, and identify biodiversity protection and pro-biodiversity business actions.

The project aimed to promote a comprehensive and integrated approach to biodiversity and ecosystem services in accordance with EU biodiversity policy for the sustainable development of rural municipalities and local communities in the Western Balkans, as part of an effort to reduce the downward spiral of poverty, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation to increase overall human well-being within the wider context of ensuring regional peace and stability.

Local biodiversity action plans were developed for eight selected municipalities in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), in a process that involved stakeholder participation, capacity building, communication and awareness raising; the identification of pro-biodiversity business opportunities; and the development of partnerships.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Project activities included:

  • improving nature management practices at national level and fostering the local planning process in national structures;
  • involving beneficiary municipalities in national and international development processes;
  • contributing to dialogue on nature protection issues among municipalities in the Western Balkans; and
  • planning investments and ensuring the financial sustainability of local communities.

As a result of the project, eight LBAPs were drafted according to the methodology developed jointly by the REC and the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC). The plans were approved by municipal assemblies with the participation of community and national stakeholders, and were implemented through support to municipalities in eight pilot projects. In addition, investments were made in selected priority activities.

  • Awareness raising
  • Capacity building
  • Investment planning
  • Local initiatives
  • Networking and cooperation