Environment

EPTISA SEE awarded environmental projects in Serbia and Kosovo*

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Published

September 11, 2016

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Published:

September 11, 2016

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EPTISA SEE, a subsidiary of Spanish EPTISA Group, international company operating in the fields of engineering, architecture, consulting and information technology, announced two newly awarded projects in Serbia and Kosovo* in early September.

The company headquartered in Belgrade will provide assistance with transposition, implementation and enforcement of acquis through further implementation of principles from the National Environmental Approximation Strategy (NEAS) of the Republic of Serbia. EPTISA is a part of a consortium with Project Management Ltd. from Ireland and the Environment Agency Austria – Umweltbundesamt. The project is financed by the European Union.

In view of the country’s candidate status for EU membership, NEAS is one of the most important documents in terms of European integrations in the field of environment, according to a statement from EPTISA’s Regional Office for Southeast Europe. The document is a platform for accession negotiations for chapter 27, concerning the environment, one of the most difficult and complex ones, the company said. According to some announcements, Serbian officials plan to open the chapter by the end of the year, the press release adds.

As it is noted, overcoming this challenge requires sustained progress in three areas: transposition of the EU’s environmental legislation, the administrative capacity to implement, monitor and enforce that legislation, and establishing the infrastructure required for compliance.

Over the next 24 months, a team of local and international experts will support the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection and the responsible negotiating group in ensuring further alignment with the environmental acquis, with specific focus on the development of institutional capacities and enforcement of national legislation and strategic planning.

EPTISA said the activities will focus on the preparation of an action plan for the development of administrative capacities, which includes an assessment of the institutional capacity at all levels of governance. Also, assistance will be provided for the enhancement of implementation planning capacities through coordination of investment and financial planning among sectors and through development of eight directive-specific implementation plans (DSIPs).

The project in Kosovo*, EPTISA was selected for with Orgut Consulting AB as the lead partner, is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) The aim is to support capacity development in the field of environmental monitoring, assessment and reporting, strengthening the capacity for implementation of environmental legislation, conservation of biodiversity, management of transboundary natural areas, establishment of groundwater monitoring network and river basin management.

In the next 48 months, the companies will provide technical support to the authorities, specifically the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and Kosovo* Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA), in improving environmental conditions. The main goals will be to develop the capacity of the ministry, the Inter-Ministerial Water Council (IMWC), municipalities, civil society and other stakeholders in environmental monitoring and management, Eptisa said. Also, the project will target development of the capacity for implementation of environmental legislation, in compliance with EU directives. One of the goals is to enhance the knowledge of Kosovo’s* water resources and develop capacity for their improved management, and enhance resilience to environmental and climate change.

The project comprises of specific technical components: strengthening KEPA’s capacity for environmental monitoring, assessment and reporting; conservation of biodiversity through the Red Book of animal species in Kosovo*; strengthening the management of transboundary natural areas; establishment of groundwater monitoring network in Kosovo*; strengthening capacity for implementation of environmental legislation at the central and local levels; groundwater investigation in the Drin river basin; management plan for the basin; and support to IMWC through short-term mandates.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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