Training for managers of protected areas on grant support for nature protection and tourism development

Organized by USAID’s Tourism project and UNDP’s SPA project

March 14, 2023

USAID’s project of support to the development of sustainable tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Tourism project) and the project "Sustainability of Protected Areas in BiH" (SPA project) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in BiH (UNDP) and financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), organized a two-day training for managers of protected areas in the Federation of BiH, with the aim to prepare them for participation in future grant programs.

The training focused on public calls for grants in the area of nature protection and tourism development, which will be published through the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Environmental Protection Fund of the BiH Federation. In addition to managers of protected areas, the training was also attended by representatives of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the FBiH Environmental Protection Fund, as well as other relevant institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Speaking about the importance of this workshop, the Head of the Department for the Protection of Biological and Landscape Diversity in the Environmental Sector of the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Tourism, Zineta Mujaković, stated: "This is the first step in the continuation of education and I believe that this two-day training was extremely useful for managers, as well as for raising awareness of the importance of protected areas in FBiH."

Sanja Bosiljčić Pandur from the FBiH Fund for Environmental Protection pointed out: "As project financiers, we are grateful for the opportunity to discuss with potential beneficiaries of funds, about their needs, the challenges they encounter during the application process and in the implementation of the projects. Many of those comments will surely be a topic of consideration, because our aim is to improve public calls and certainly future planning of program activities that can contribute to the achievement of all those goals defined by strategies and goals of institutions in general, which is to achieve the preservation and improvement of the environment."

Participants also had the opportunity to receive information about other available sources of funding for projects in the field of sustainable tourism development in BiH.

One of the participants of the workshop, Emina Štrkljević, Expert Associate for Sales and Marketing of the National Park Una, stated: "This training is an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences, communicate about the difficulties we face when applying, implementing and reporting about projects. We had the opportunity to get information about public calls, in relation to criteria, shortcomings during application and monitoring of project implementation."

The participants shared their experiences in the preparation and implementation of projects in the area of nature protection and pointed out that the need of further investment in the preservation and promotion of protected areas, which can be achieved through cooperation at the local and international level through projects, grant programs and loans. Furthermore, it was also pointed out that cross-sectoral and regional cooperation is essential for strengthening the capacity of protected areas and creating a common brand, which would increase the competitiveness and visibility of protected areas. Local communities, especially those individuals who invest efforts in the development and preservation of protected areas, play an important role in sustainable development, at the same time advocating for the preservation of the rich natural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the following period, training will also be organized for managers of protected areas in the Republika Srpska.


About projects

With the aim of positioning Bosnia and Herzegovina as a competitive destination on the global market, USAID’s Tourism project is working on advancing human capital in the tourism sector, developing innovative tourist products, improving access for funding of tourism businesses, harmonizing policies and regulations, as well as on brand modernization and destination promotion. Through a comprehensive approach to the sustainable tourism development, the project will contribute to economic growth and social relations in BiH. 

UNDP's SPA project aims to contribute to reducing the impact of emerging climate threats to the key biodiversity values, by ensuring opportunities for sustainable management and increased financing of protected areas. The project implements activities aimed at reducing the vulnerability of key elements of biodiversity and strengthening the resilience of selected protected areas in BiH to climate change. In addition, the project is also developing and testing mechanisms for increasing the revenues of protected areas from sustainable tourism.