Sustainable rehabilitation of urban environmental systems


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Miroslav VUJATOVIC
Tel: +381 78 216 567
Fax: +381 78 216 557
Email: uzbl@inecco.net

Project description:


The Entity Republica Srpska has no Ministry for the Environment. Environmental affairs are covered by the Ministry of Town Planning, Housing, Civil Engineering and Environment. Some other institutions also deal with environmental issues but are not directly subordinated to the Ministry. There is therefore a general lack of institutional, legal, technical, and human resources to deal with integrated environmental issues. In addition, there is a general lack of awareness of environmental issues. The Entity Republica Srpska, and Bosnia and Herzegovina more generally, also have a specific set of post-conflict issues to address, such as inter-entity and trans-boundary cooperation.


The project aimed to assist the government of the Entity Republica Srpska to establish appropriate administrative structures, update and modernise the legal and technical support, rehabilitate the human resources for the drafting and implementation of action plans. This project is divided into two sub-projects: Sub-project 1: Development of concepts and initial documents for establishment of infrastructures (support in establishing appropriate administrative structures, updating and modernising the relevant legal and technical support, rehabilitation of human resources for the implementation of action plans and environmental policies, and the drafting of action plans). Sub-project 2: Implementation of the integrated environmental management at pilot scale of urban water infrastructure (using the transfer of knowledge and technology from EU member states). The project’s expected results include: a. Development of an institutional framework; b. Human resources development; c. Development and passing of laws and regulations; d. Development of inter-entity, regional and international cooperation; e. Elaboration of pilot project case studies; f. Development of means for raising public awareness and dissemination of the project results; and g. Creation of conditions for long-term sustainability of the integration of the environment. The key planned activities to be carried out were: the collection and collation of relevant technical documents; work on a new organisational scheme; provision of key equipment, including software; organisation of information in databases; human development through practical training and workshops; awareness raising and dissemination; and three pilot case studies.


A team of experts from the Entity Republica Srpska, neighbouring countries and the EU were involved in the implementation of this project. The project’s management board played an important role in monitoring project activities, as did the project’s quality control expert. The project underwent several changes during implementation, largely in reaction to the funding of a larger project by Phare (“Preparation of environmental legislation for Bosnia and Herzegovina”). This project threatened to duplicate several activities foreseen under the LIFE project. The LIFE project therefore redirected its activities towards increased awareness-raising and training activities. The project has successfully cooperated with the local partners, plus external assistance from four EU countries, in upgrading the capacities in the Entity Republica Srpska in general environmental management, and urban water issues more specifically. The creation of an Environment Section within the Ministry of Town Planning was a significant contribution to the improvement of environmental management in the Entity Republica Srpska. This project has supported the Ministry in a number of ways: The publication of a number of technical and support documents provides an important source of guidance for professionals working on urban water management. For example, the Code of Practice for the Rehabilitation of Urban Environmental Systems provides instructions for analysis, design and management of systems of hydro-technical infrastructure. The beneficiary has also put together a compendium of technical papers covering issues such as Drinking water supply and wastewater treatment, Mathematical modelling of water supply networks, and Systematic surface water quality control. These technical documents have been used in training a wide range of professional, including government officials and city planners, increasing their capacity for carrying out integrated environmental management. In addition, four young professionals have undergone training in EU institutions and a number of experts visited the UK on a study tour. The project also produced three pilot case studies. The pilot studies focused on the integrated management of water systems in three towns in the Republica Srpska: Banja Luka, Bijeljina and Trebinje. For each town, the beneficiary analysed data using techniques and tailored software. For example, the beneficiary used EPANET software to plan a new plumbing system installation in Trebinje. The exercise also served to give the staff responsible for plumbing and water supply in Trebinje experience of the software packages available for solving problems. The case study in Bijeljina involved the development of a hydrological model, and an analysis of the water supply system. A mathematical model was calibrated, indicating the complex relations between subterranean and surface water. This is particularly important in assessing the loss of water in supply systems, plus the infiltration of wastewater. The pilot case study in Banja Luka highlighted the problems facing the current water system. In general, the system is overloaded, and the primary and secondary networks have both been heavily damaged. Most wastewater is discharged directly into the Vrbas River. The project produced simulations of water use, and the key sources of pollution were identified. Again, the methodology was successful in highlighting not only key problems, but also demonstrating the technologies available for analysis. The beneficiary has made efforts to inform a wider audience both about the project’s results, and to raise the awareness of the general public about water issues. A particularly successful activity was a painting competition involving school children. The children’s pictures were exhibited, and collected in a hardback book called “My name’s water”. Other promotional activities have included television interviews and three videos to be shown on national television.


Environmental issues addressed:


Water - Water resources protection


water resource management‚  integrated management‚  urban area

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Institute of the Republic Srpska for spatial and town planning
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Institute is a non-governmental organisation with responsibility for physical and urban planning. The Institute has been renamed the Institute for Urbanism of Republic Srpska.
Partners Ministry of Town Planning, Housing, Civil Engineering and Environment, BA University of Banja Luka, BA Institute for Water Resources, BA Institute for Protection and Environment, BA


Project reference LIFE98 TCY/BIH/165
Duration 01-NOV-1998 to 31-OCT -2001
Total budget 400,470.00 €
EU contribution 369,000.00 €
Project location Bosnia Herzegovina (BIH)(Bosnia Herzegovina)


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