State of Environment Report (SoER) Survey for Bosnia and Herzegovina

First State of Environment reporting process in BiH

The state of the environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina was at the core of  a process to prepare the first ever environmental report for the country. The process was conducted in the scope of the Millennium Development Goals Fund (MDG-F) Programme “Mainstreaming Environmental Governance: Linking Local and National Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, which was a 3.5 year long joint program implemented by five UN Agencies (UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, FAO, UNV) between 2010 and 2013.

Purpose:

The comprehensive State of Environment Report (SoER) for Bosnia and Herzegovina will serve as recommendations for decision-makers on how to manage in a more sustainable way the environment across the country, provide a number of targeted policy options and contribute to science-based decision-making and sustainable environmental governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is anticipated that the document will facilitate cooperation between the various authorities and considerably enhance future implementation of environmental policies.

Implementation:

Development of SoER was coordinated and overseen by UNEP. The report was prepared by the consortia between Enova.d.o.o. and Austrian Environmental Agency and upon its completion in early 2013 was delivered to  state and Entity environmental authorities.

The project was officially launched in October of 2010 at the First Stakeholder Workshop which was followed by data collection and development of several drafts through a comprehensive consultation process.

Main objectives:

  • To present the state of environment through available information that is accessible in the country
  • To establish a set of environmental indicators that will be used in order to monitor and follow the state of environment on regular annual or biannual basis
  • To help assist and make recommendations in decision making and policy development
  • Raise public awareness and understanding of the environmental issues in order to improve the way BiH uses, manages and values it’s environment

Methodology:

Development of SoER involved a large number of internal consortia as well as external experts from various fields of to develop the document. Development of the report was divided into thematic teams which were working on a given set of indicators.

The report is based on available data from diverse number of sources, calculations based on obtained data and professional analysis. The whole SoE Report was created through the DPSIR methodology, which is widely used for identifying and continually following the state of environment where the state (S) is the result of specific drivers (D) and pressures (P), positive or negative, which impact (I) the environment. The responses (R) represent the solutions (e.g. policies, investments) for what should then be done to improve or maintain that state.

Since the whole report is purely based on indicators (concrete data), indicators used in EEA as well as national indicators are used to present the state of environment. Main and most important indicators are CSI (Core Set Indicators) following with CLIM (Indicators relating to climate change), ENER (Indicators relating to energy use) and many more indicators which are used to describe the state of different segments of the environment. One of the major issues that was experienced during development of SoER is availability of data, irregular monitoring procedures and inconsistency of data that is being monitored.

SoER of BiH contains a concise and clear list of indicators. Besides the European indicators, the report also contains National List of Indicators. The report offers clear recommendations on how to further carry out the reporting procedure and proposal of the legal framework that would empower BiH to report the state of environment on a regular basis.