Educate. Connect. Inspire

Educate. Connect. Inspire

May 30, 2012

Green Economy in Europe (part 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Green economy partnership development / UK- BiH

The project is intended to provide a significant increase the skills and capacity of public administration and industry representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina in relation to the green economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina to address the challenges of accession. It is an integrated package of support providing skills and experience through training and mentoring to key organisations and individuals using UK expertise and delivered by a partnership between Green Council (BiH) and EPIC (UK).

The project will be a logical follow up to the seminar: “Lessons to Moving to Low Carbon Economy” organised by the British embassy in March 2011. The seminar has contributed to development of a UK/BiH partnership by stimulating the role of civil society and local actors in meeting the acquis requirements in the green economy. In addition, the aforementioned initiative promoted the EU 20/20/20 strategy and the Lisbon Criteria as an important strategic framework for economy growth and job creation. Conclusions of the seminar were: all interested parties should focus more seriously on the key issues facing Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region in relation to the green economy, and explore possibilities to develop both bilateral and regional cooperation with the UK. For this reason Green Council and EPIC have developed a partnership with Bicton Earth Centre to support exchange of experience in this sector.

In order to continue with the necessary activities this proposal will focus on the priorities related to the green economy and support partnership development. The proposed project will provide training, support and demonstration of EU best practices, thus applying coordinated and participatory approach in order to facilitate introduction and positive changes in BiH economy in general towards the green economy.

The project will increase awareness and understanding of future needs and opportunities for BiH among local key actors (public sector, business, chambers, CSOs) about the EU green economy regulation, policy and practice. The project will also initiate improvement of BiH competitiveness of sectors related to the green economy and will speed up the process of accession-readiness of all BiH government levels in accordance with the Lisbon agenda.


Not much, but something is moving. In Macedonia organic agriculture is gaining ground. The legislative framework matches European standards and funds are growing. Yet, a lot remains to be done. The sixth part of our investigation into organic agriculture in South East Europe.

In transition economies, the idea that organic agriculture could be a potentially significant sector, largely stems from the fact that agricultural systems here are characterised by the use of traditional inputs (soil, work, capital) and a relatively limited use of synthetically produced fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.

This is also true for Macedonia, where private agricultural businesses – the dominant type, now – are mostly family-owned and have an average size of 2.6 hectares, with over 50% below the 1.5 hectares.

Organic farming and 'green economy'

UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) is also in favour of a low-impact approach to agriculture in Macedonia and, within an initiative on green economy, has identified organic agriculture as a sector of special interest for supporting exports, jobs, and incomes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Together with IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), UNEP has started to analyse the potential economic and environmental benefits of large-scale investments in the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices. According to Achim Steiner, UNEP General Director, there is increasing evidence regarding the organic sector's contribution to sustainability, in terms of water management, soil management, the protection of biodiversity and job opportunities in rural areas.

Organic agriculture has, in fact, become fully included in the range of practices that should support the transition to a green economy: from renewable energy, recycling and the reduction of greenhouse gases, to re-thinking consumer patterns.

Organic farming in Macedonia

Organic practices in Macedonia started in 2000, with the first inspections in 2003 and the issuing of the first certificate in 2004, thanks to a project financed by Swiss Cooperation together with FiBL, a research institute with branches in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The project was aimed at producing organic persimmons to be exported through the SIPPO programme – Swiss Import Promotion Programme.

At the same time, in 2001, a process aimed at defining a framework law started and was approved in 2004 along with 12 amendments, followed by others in 2005 and 2006. A proper revision of the legislative framework was carried out in 2009, with the introduction of law n.146 on Organic Agricultural Production, fully consistent with European Regulations 834/2007 and 889/2008.

At the institutional level, a significant step was undertaken with the approval of the National Strategy and Action Plan for organic agriculture in the Republic of Macedonia 2008-2011 that set important targets for 2011, such as 2% and 5% percent of the total agricultural surface, for organic agriculture and collection of wild plants, respectively; increasing the range of certified products and the number of businesses involved in their transformation; the consolidation of export channels and raising the awareness of local consumers about the ethics of organic farming. Other goals include the harmonisation of domestic laws with the European framework and the strengthening of the human and technical resources in the institutions involved in the certification and inspection processes.

Since 2005, there has been an increase in public support, the number of organic farmers, and an extension of the cultivated surface. Despite significant progress, the overall market is still underdeveloped.


Road towards renewable energy and sustainable economy — pilot project in Kukës, Albania

Duration: November 2011 - August 2012

Overview and objectives: The project consists on the developing of a vision study, which looks at how Kukës can secure its energy through renewable energy sources, and develop a sustainable, green economy in the process. The study shows the economic benefits for the area, the investments, methods and actual technology needed for the transition. The study also focuses on the employment opportunities and savings for the area if it goes renewable. The project aims to disseminate the findings of the study to other local governments in Albania and advocate the transition of Albania into renewables and green economy.

The project aims to:
  • develop an economic model which is sustainable and creates green jobs, and will have multiple benefits;
  • create a benchmark, a ready-made model for the development of the area, a model which can serve as a basis for attracting grants and investments in the future;
  • lobby to governments in Albania on the benefits that a transition to renewable energy and green jobs can have for the country and in decreasing unemployment.