Nature and Society


Local Biodiversity Action Planning for Southeastern Europe


This project aimed to promote a comprehensive and integrated approach to biodiversity and ecosystem services for the sustainable development of rural municipalities and their local communities in Southeastern Europe, as part of an effort to reduce the downward spiral of poverty, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation to increase overall human well-being within the wider context of ensuring regional peace and stability.

More detailed objectives focused on planning for biodiversity protection, management and investments. The following project-specific objectives directly correspond to the broader goals of the Finnish Development Policy Programme 2007.


The project focused on conserving biodiversity resources and promoting sustainable ecosystem services for beneficiary municipalities, which reflects local, national and international policy priorities and reduce poverty through income and job creation in the region. The project's immediate objectives were to:

  • increase knowledge about sustainable economic development opportunities, in particular regarding pro-biodiversity business, that contribute to the conservation and wise use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the region;
  • increase interest, awareness and capacity regarding biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainable development among key local stakeholders in beneficiary communities;
  • develop Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs) with an emphasis on sustainable socio-economic development, through increased stakeholder involvement in the process and consensus-building on its content, objectives and expected outcomes;
  • ensure cooperation in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services among the municipalities within target countries and between cross-border municipalities;
  • develop effective partnerships at local and regional level to stimulate a better understanding of the link between local biodiversity, poverty reduction and sustainable development, to ensure that biodiversity and ecosystem services are maintained in a sustainable way, as a means to stimulate poverty reduction in the region.

In addition to the above, the results of this project helped to implement national strategies for biodiversity and sustainable development in the target countries and assisted other local governments to increase their capacity for systematically integrating biodiversity aspects into their local planning and policy implementation.

Time frame

The project ran from December 2008 to December 2011.


Regional Environmental Center (REC) and its offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.


This project was funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.