Sida and REC partner up to reduce poverty

March 21, 2009
MAKING A SPLASH: Branislav Blazic, mayor of Kikinda, Serbia, opens the Stevanceva Bara recreational area during a June 2007 ceremony. Photo: Radoje Lausevic

The Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Regional Environmental Center (REC) have signed an agreement to implement a project supporting the development of local environmental action plans (LEAPs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo as defined by UNSCR 1244. This project, which aims to improve local environment and planning practices, will help 19 municipalities to develop their own LEAPs.

Increasing the number of municipalities with developed LEAPs is important because some countries have formal requirements for their development (Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia, for example), while others have local planning-related recommendations outlined in their national strategic environmental documents. Developing LEAPs also sets examples of good practices and exhibits how internal capacities of municipalities can be mobilised for improving inhabitants' quality of life and, eventually, be drawn closer to the EU.

After the LEAPs are finalised, Sida and the REC, together with partner municipalities, will provide financial support of EUR 1.43 million for local environmental projects. Implementation of this project will start in November 2007 and is expected to wrap up in October 2010.

For more information about this project and the REC's other local initiatives, contact Srdjan Susic at

For more coverage on the Balkan environment, see the REReP webpage.