Enhanced Cross-Sectoral Land Management Through Land use Pressure Reduction and Planning

Environmental issues:

A variety of environmentally unsustainable activities, such as over-extraction of ores, inappropriate practices in agriculture and uncontrolled waste disposal have a devastating effect on the quality of land in the Republic of Serbia. Land became contaminated mostly with heavy metals and mineral oils. Once the functions and quality of the land have been violated, its regeneration can be costly and time consuming. Therefore, urgent and comprehensive actions are needed: stimulation of science and technology, strengthening the institutional capacities, development of partnerships for concerted actions, and raising awareness on integrated and Sustainable Land Management (SLM).

Project profile:

  • Period: 2015-2018
  • The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and  has been implemented by the United Nations Environment ROE – Vienna Office. The executive body for the implementation of the project is the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection and the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency. Support in the realization of the project is provided by the regional non-governmental network Forestry and Environmental Action (fea).

The basis for the project design and implementation is a draft of the “National Action Program for mitigating the effects of drought and land degradation, aligning to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – UNCCD “. The project is an initiative for undertaking urgent and comprehensive measures for the land conservation.

Project objectives: The project’s main goal is to alleviate the pressure on soil as a natural resource from competitive soil uses, through preventing further soil degradation and promoting soil remediation in Serbia. The project will develop instruments and mechanisms for integrated soil use and management, reinforce the institutional capacities and raise awareness on the integral and sustainable soil management.

Project components: Enabling institutional, policy and scientific environment for long-term integrated land use management (ILM), landscape-level management of natural resources in Serbia and capacity building, awareness raising and sharing learned lessons with main stakeholders and wider public based on sustainable monitoring system.

Early and intermediate positive results of the project would include:

  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of production sectors
  • Developing a Cadaster of land degradation “hot spots”; Prioritization of sites for remediation
  • Enhanced policy framework for integrated land use and natural resources management
  • Strengthening major stakeholders capacities
  • Awareness raising package
  • Increased access to environmental information and ensured participation of all relevant stakeholders in decision-making for SLM

The long-term positive impacts of the project will include remediation and improvement of degraded “hotspots” and overall better soil utilization, prevention of further soil loss and maintenance of its quality, especially in the fields of industry, mining, power production and agriculture, which are all major economic drivers of Serbia.