Nature and Society


A Local Biodiversity Action Planning Network in the Western Balkans

This was the second phase of the project 'Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Local Sustainable Development in the Western Balkans (SEE-BAP)'. The first phase lasted for three years and was carried out in ten municipalities in South-Eastern Europe with the aim of integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into local sustainable development policy and actions.

Phase 2 of the project was carried out in eight newly selected municipalities in six Western Balkan countries, with the close and active involvement of local administrations, local businesses and civil society. The previous project achieved a number of excellent results, including a full-colour handbook for municipalities (in six languages), which has been successfully utilized by the LBAP teams in the partner municipalities, and also extremely well received by a range of other stakeholders. Based on the experience of the municipal teams and findings from the project so far, ECNC and REC proposed to ’roll out’ the activities of the new project in the neighbouring cross-border municipalities (and selected others if appropriate) using the same highly successful methodology.

The goal of the project was for the relevant departments of the partner municipalities, local communities and relevant stakeholders (i.e. NGOs working with municipalities specifically for nature conservation) to learn and be able to carry out cross-sectoral and participatory biodiversity action planning (LBAP) processes and to implement actions. Their experiences (results, best practices, lessons learned) were made publicly available and used in preparing proposals for developing municipal planning and in the decision-making process in the partner countries.


The project focused on integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services for beneficiary municipalities, to reflect local, national and international policy priorities and eventually bring better living conditions for the target group through income and job creation in the region.


The project objectives were formulated to maximize the learning points from the first phase of the project and to secure optimal effectiveness in project delivery. The specific objectives were:

  • LBAP coordinators, LBAP teams, working groups and stakeholder groups function and are trained to manage and implement the LBAPs in the partner municipalities;
  • LBAPs are prepared and approved through open and transparent multistakeholder consultation processes and consensus-building in each partner municipality in accordance with the LBAP Handbook;
  • Prioritized pilot actions of the LBAPs are implemented successfully with the support of the project in the partner municipalities;
  • Sustainable mechanisms for networking and disseminating the project results and experiences within and between the countries in the region are in place and in use;
  • The LBAP processes are formalized in municipal planning systems at the national level in each partner country.

These objectives were achieved through seven work packages:

  1. Project management
  2. Situation analysis
  3. Training programmes for partner municipalities
  4. Local Biodiversity Action Planning process
  5. Implementation of the priority action
  6. Regional seminar
  7. Communication and visibility

Time frame

The project ran from April 2012 to October 2013.


Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)


This project was funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.