Successfully Completed Two MDG-F Programmes: Access to Water Supply and Environment and Climate Change in BiH

Jun 14, 2013

The final conference on the occasion of the completion of two UN programmes focused on water supply access in and environment and climate change in BiH, which were implemented since 2010 and financed from the funds of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, through the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F), was held on Friday, June 14, 2013 in the United Nations House.

These programmes are “Democratic Economic Governance of Water Access” and “Mainstreaming environmental governance: linking local and national action in BiH”, in the amount of 10,000,000 USD. The programmes where implemented by the following United Nations agencies: FAO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNEP, UNV in partnership with government institutions at all levels and civil society organizations.

The conference was attended by many representatives of government institutions, representatives of non-governmental organizations, international institutions, as well as ambassadors in BiH.

The participants were addressed by H.E. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator, H. E. Maria Aurora Mejia Errasquin, Ambassador of Kingdom of Spain in BiH, Mr. Mirko Šarović, BiH Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, as well as programme managers Mr. Igor Palandžić and Mr. Siniša Rodić.

In the opening speech, Yuri Afanasiev stated that BiH lags comparing to her neighbors in terms of water management and environment protection, and he stressed that large problems exist in terms of water losses in water supply networks up to 50% and more.

The goals of BiH in the field of water supply are to increase the coverage of water supply system, which is currently below 60%, and decrease the water losses by 15% until 2025. In order to achieve these goals and to ensure access to drinking water for all, especially for marginalized and vulnerable groups, it is necessary to improve water management system and invest in infrastructure and human resources.” - he added.

Speaking about the Environment and Climate Change programme, Yuri Afanasiev said that municipalities, cantons and ministries have recognized the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and that they are moving towards development of strategic approach and redistribution of resources for increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Mirko Šarović stated that the conditions of water infrastructure in BiH is not nearly satisfying, which is a key precondition for the development of this sector. He said that major breakthrough was achieved in the field of energy efficiency and usage of renewable energy sources, and that BiH has an obligation to increase energy efficiency for 9% until 2020.

"The annual financial savings in public budget in the amount of 500,000 USD on the basis of energy efficiency are the indicators of success. Greenhouse gases reduction is almost 2 tones per year, which means more oxygen for 88,000 people.” said Siniša Rodić, Environment and Climate Change programme manager.

Spanish ambassador believes that BiH has many natural resources, but a lot of work has to be done on the management and sustainable usage of these resources and their adjustment to EU standards.

Democratic Economic Governance of Water Access “Ensuring access to water through institutional development and infrastructure” programme was implemented jointly by UNDP and UNICEF in partnership with the BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and ministries of water management and social protection of the RS and the FBiH, municipalities and their utility companies and civil society organizations. Approximate budget was 4,500,000 USD.

Mainstreaming environmental governance: linking local and national action in BiH programme was jointly implemented by United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Volunteers (UNDP/UNV), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with the BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, the RS Ministry of Civil Engineering and Ecology, the RS Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water-Management, the FBiH Ministry of Ecology and Tourism, the FBiH Ministry of Agriculture, Water-Management and Forestry, the participating municipalities and civil society organizations. Total value of this project was 5,500,000 USD.

The concrete results of projects

Access to Water supply

  • Established 11 permanent Municipal Commissions for Social Protection
  • 13 municipal Action Plans addressing gaps in social protection system; 545 activities are being implemented.
  • 250 children educated about water issues and developed concrete plans to improve water and sanitation in 13 schools.
  • Water Supply Studies prepared for 11 Municipalities; calculated priority investment for water supply over the 10 years in amount of 38,000,000 EUR
  • 18 small infrastructure projects in water supply provided safe water to 50,000 citizens, (including 200 returnee families); 1m EUR investment in small infrastructure (MDG 600,000 EUR and LC 400,000 EUR), savings 500,000 EUR/Year

Environment and Climate Change in BiH

  • Developed State of the environment report for BiH;
  • 38 pilot projects Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Sources projects implemented:
    • Investment: 2,900,000 EUR
    • MDGF: 1,400,000 EUR
    • Cofinansing: 1,500,000 EUR
    • Annual financial savings: 500,000 EUR
    • Simple payback period: 5.8 years;
    • Through the implementation of energy efficiency measures achieved 664 man / months of work, earned 664 salaries, which is the equivalent to the amount of around 350,000 EUR
  • Adopted 37 LEAPs (local environmental action plans) in 25 out of 37 municipalities where LEAPs are developed, budget increased for 6 mil EUR all together.
  • Adopted 5 Sustainable energy action plans (SEAP), to enable the municipalities and cities introduction of energy efficiency measures, and to demonstrate feasibility of using alternative sources of energy and reducing pollution
  • Established DNA (Designated National Authority) for implementation of Clean Development Mechanisms (within Kyoto protocol) allowing BiH for new investments.