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The republic of serbia ministry of environment and spatial planning table of contents

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Number of nesting pairs of white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in the protected area “Gornje Podunavlje-Upper Danube River Basin” in the period of 1978-2003

2.7. Genetic Resources Management
In ex situ protection, the biggest importance have the plant gene banks and the national collections in different scientific institutions (institutes and faculties: the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad; the Institute of Fodder Crops, Kruševac; the Institute of Small Grain Crops, Kragujevac; the Institute of Vegetables, Smederevska Palanka; the Potato Centre, Guča; the faculties of agriculture of the Universities in Novi Sad and Belgrade). The national collection of the plant gene bank, the formation of which was initiated in the nineties of the twentieth century, is temporarily accommodated in the Maize Research Institute in Zemun Polje, up to the setting up in operation of the Plant Gene Bank in Batajnica within the Directorate of National Reference Laboratories. This collection contains 4,238 samples of plant genetic resources: cereals – 2,983 in total, industrial crops – 367 in total, vegetables – 214 in total, fodder crops – 285 in total, as well as 389 samples of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Based on the data contained in the Draft Programme of Rural Development (2008-2013), presence has been recorded in Serbia of over 44 autochthonous and exotic breeds of domestic animals (7 breeds of horses, 1 breed of donkeys, 8 breeds of cattle, 3 breeds of goats, 5 breeds of sheep, 18 breeds of hogs, and several breeds of poultry). Between 400 and 500 agricultural farms and cooperatives possess endangered species. FAO information system for diversity of domestic animals (DAD-IS) contains information on the presence of over 100 breeds and strains of domestic animals in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
Introduction of the documentation system and the first programme of professional training was initiated in 1989, in cooperation with ECPGR (European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources, coordinated by IPGRI – International Institute of Plant Genetic Resources) and the Nordic Gene Bank, whereby the Maize Research Institute in Zemun Polje was designated as the national coordinator. NOBIS computer system was introduced in order to enable the use of descriptors and databases. Sixty four databases of the national collections were compiled for 4,958 genotypes with passport data, characterization, and previous evaluation. The data are centralized in the central database of the national plant gene bank. Characterization, evaluation, and regeneration are parts of the tasks of the Institute. International collections do not contain the complete overview of the bank of genetic resources of our country. It is known that samples of small grain wheat, potato, water melon, and some other old varieties exist in Beltswille (USA) and in the Institute of Plant Industry VIR (Russia). It is also known that a sample of spring barley is in the collections of Gatersleben (Germany) and ICARDE (Syria). It is also believed that numerous samples and collections of alfalfa, medicinal plants, spring common oats, large-seed legumes, and cabbages are in foreign plant gene banks, but there are no data that would corroborate such assumptions. It is believed that the autochthonous materials of maize and wheat from the former SFRY exist in the gene banks in the USA, Russia, and Italy, but the communication that would enable insight in the state of those collections is currently insufficiently developed.
In view of the fact that, on the national level, the law (or bylaws) on genetic resources has not as yet been adopted, the issues of preservation, access to, and use of genetic resources are not regulated in an adequate way.
2.8. Landscape Conservation

In Serbia there is no strategy that would concretely cover protection and sustainable utilization of landscape diversity, nor are the landscape issues integrated in sectoral policies. Yet another weak aspect, particularly of the present period, is slow adoption of a modern legislation that would ensure due implementation of relevant international agreements and initiatives that include conservation and sustainable utilization of landscapes, and particularly for establishing of a sufficient legal framework for sustainable use of landscapes in Serbia. As opposed to biodiversity and nature protection, landscape protection is not even concretely considered within the National Environmental Strategy (NES). The only exception is the 2004 Law on Environmental Protection, in which landscapes are mentioned within the protected and public natural goods. The procedures for (environmental) impact assessment insufficiently include landscapes and preservation of their diversity.

The overall institutional framework in this area is still weak and with insufficient capacities to consider all the aspects of sustainable utilization of landscapes and adequate protection of the diversity of types of landscapes.

The methods for classification and categorization of types of landscapes and indicators for assessment of their preservation, cultural, scientific, and production values have not been elaborated. Public awareness of the importance of protection of landscape diversity and of its environmental capacity in the context of sustainable development is on a very low level.

The main problems of protection and development of landscapes in the Republic of Serbia, i.e. the problems of degradation of quality are as follows:

  • Fragmentation and degradation of landscapes due to urban development, construction of infrastructure systems, water storages, tourist and recreational centres, overexploitation;

  • Homogenization of landscapes, which takes place due to the intensification and increase of the level of agricultural production, which results in the disappearance of biodiversity (landscape, ecosystem, and species);

  • Disappearance of the characteristic mosaic pattern in rural landscapes, which takes place due to depopulation and abandoning of the traditional method of land use;

  • Disappearance of the specific character of urban and rural landscapes by expansion of periurban areas, conversion of agricultural land, construction and utilization of space, which do not take into account the regional and local specific features;

  • Reduction of green and open spaces in urban environments and loss of the link with the regional system of open spaces.

The following objectives of the Policy include preservation and sustainable utilization of landscape diversity in Serbia:

  • Development of the national strategic framework for preservation and sustainable use of landscapes in Serbia

    • Making of the national classification of landscapes and inventory taking of landscape types, assessment of their statuses, as well as assessment of the overall landscape diversity in Serbia.

    • Making of the Atlas of Landscape Types in Serbia.

    • Mapping out of the National Strategy for Preservation of Landscapes on the basis of an integral approach to individual landscape types.

  • Strengthening of the legislative and regulatory framework for preservation of landscape diversity in Serbia

    • Accession to the European Convention on Landscapes;

    • Adoption of a new Law on Preservation of Nature and Landscapes including harmonization with the EU legislation (EU’s Acquis) and international initiatives, including in the field of preservation of geodiversity;

    • Making of the analyses of omissions in covering of the types of landscapes of importance for preservation within the network of protected areas;

    • Extension of the network of protected areas in order to achieve legal protection of representative examples of diversified types of landscapes, which are of importance for conservation due to their scientific, landscape, cultural, and other values;

    • Introduction and imposing of adequate penalties/fines for non-compliance with statutory regulations;

    • Adoption of a system of incentives for landscape preservation.

  • Integration of the landscape issues in the strategies of development and spatial planning, and in the sectoral policies

    • Revision of the existing methods of spatial planning with the aim to incorporate landscape issues in the official methodology for drawing up of spatial plans.

    • Definition of borders for the use and/or prohibited anthropogenous activities with respect to different landscape types.

    • Improvement in resolving the issues of protection of landscape diversity in the management plans for protected areas.

  • Implementation of management systems that improve the practices of land management in order to protect the diversity of landscape types

    • Promotion of adaptive land use management systems.

    • Development of the best practices: Landscape Management Codex.

    • Strengthening of aspects of landscape diversity in the procedures for Environmental Impact Assessment.

    • Establishing of the landscape monitoring and information system (as an integral part of the environmental information system)

  • Restoration of the degraded parts of landscapes

  • Drawing up of the integral programme of landscape research

  • Strengthening of institutional capacities for preservation of landscape diversity in Serbia

    • Setting up of an institutional mechanism for horizontal and vertical coordination of landscape aspects in the context of sustainable development between different interested parties.

    • Expanding of the capacities of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia for the purpose of covering landscape preservation, as well as for the purpose of strengthening its role in the coordination/supervision of preservation of landscape diversity.

    • Drawing up of the programme for development of capacities in the area of preservation of landscape diversity targeted to municipalities/local self-governments.

  • Promotion of the support to education and raising of public awareness with respect to the importance of landscape preservation in the context of sustainable development

    • Adaptation of the educational system so as to integrate strategies for preservation of landscape diversity.

    • Drawing up and implementation of the programme of education of public and its awareness raising, as well as for land users, promotion of landscape preservation and their importance in the context of sustainable development.

2.9. Obstacles in Environmental Protection and Nature Conservation

General causes of problems in the environment
1. Lack of strategic and planning documents in the areas of environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources defined in the Law on Environmental Protection and special laws
2. Poor integration of the environmental protection policy in the policies of other sectors. In formulation of policies in the Republic of Serbia, sectoral planning is still dominant with very little horizontal integration. The existing sectoral strategies are not sufficiently harmonized with respect to the environmental protection.
3. Insufficient institutional capacities. The capacities of the institutions are not sufficient to respond to a wider reform of the policy, or legislation in the area of environmental protection. Due to insufficient institutional coordination, both on horizontal and on vertical planes, adoption and implementation of strategic documents, laws, and of other regulations is aggravated. Particularly, the capacities on the local level are insufficiently developed for implementation the set of laws from 2004, and particularly the set of new laws in the area of environmental protection adopted in 2009. Transfer of competence to the local level also requires capacity building on the local level.
4. An ineffective monitoring and reporting system. Not all the relevant criteria and indicators for monitoring have been established.
5. Insufficiently efficient enforcement of regulations in the area of environmental protection results from the incomplete legal system, insufficient institutional capacities, insufficiently efficient inspection supervision, and slowness of courts.
6. Insufficient capacity in surveying the legislation implementation and inadequate sanction system regarding violation of nature conservation regulation.
7. Ineffective system of financing of environmental protection and lack of economic incentives. The level of budgetary investments in the environment is low, on average (2001-2008 periods) it amounts to 0.3% of GDP annually. The system of economic instruments is undeveloped and does not enable sufficient economic incentives for reduction of pollution.
8. Low level of awareness related to the environment, insufficient education on the environment, and inadequate participation of general public in decision making. Formal education in the area of environmental protection within the educational process is not as yet satisfactory.
Obstacles in Nature Conservation
Nature conservation is not a priority for the government as yet, although there are several great achievements in the implementation of nature legislation and policy documents. Also, the traditional obstacle is the economic pressure and the fact that nature conservation is mostly seen as a restrictive issue. Insufficient incorporation of biodiversity issues into sectoral strategies and programmes can be considered as another important obstacle and even if sometimes it has been incorporated, in reality it has been given low priority or has remained just as a declarative issue.
Main obstacles in Nature Conservation are:

  • Insufficient implementation of the environmental and nature protection legislation;

  • Serbia has not as yet accessed to the International Agreement on Pan European Strategy for Biological and Landscape Diversity Conservation;

  • There are no national programmes for plant genetic resources, which results in losses of agro-biodiversity. There is a need for the establishment of a professional body, which should determine priorities;

  • There are no scientifically proven data as yet (national flora, national vegetation, and national fauna) on the life existing in the territory of Serbia;

  • Lack of an integral information system and the system of indicators for biodiversity monitoring;

  • An inadequate spatial planning system and inefficient implementation of the spatial planning and urbanization system;

  • Lack of efficient inter-sectoral cooperation in the field of protection of biodiversity and lack of integration of biodiversity protection in sectoral development policies;

  • Insufficient staff in protected areas and municipalities, which would perform the activities related to the CBD requirements. Those problems are less represented at scientific institutions’ level;

  • Inefficient system and mechanisms for management of national parks, Ramsar areas, biosphere reserves, and other protected areas;

  • Inadequate management of forest ecosystems and protected areas;

  • An ineffective management system for collection of and trading in wild flora, fauna, and fungi;

  • Lack of adequate economic and financial instruments for nature protection and management of protected areas

3. Sectoral and Intersectoral Integration of Biodiversity

Biological resources represent an important economic potential. Their exploitation significantly contributes to the socio-economic development. Biological resources are renewable, but only to a certain extent. If their exploitation in agriculture, forestry, or industry is excessive, the survival of certain species and/or ecosystems could be put into danger. The principles of sustainable use of biological resources must be implemented first of all within sectors that significantly contribute to socio-economic development, such as agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing, energetic, industry, etc.
3.1. Environmental protection and EU integration 

  • Resolution of the National Assembly for the Accession to the EU

  • National Strategy of Serbia for the Accession to the EU

  • Action Plan for harmonisation of the legislation of the Republic of Serbia with EU legislation

  • Resolution of the Council of 6 November 2007 on principles, priorities, and conditions of EU partnership with the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo, according to the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999, and repealing Decision 2006/56/EC

  • Commission of the European Communities, Serbia 2006 Progress Report, SEC(2006) 1389, of 8 November 2006

  • Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (Aarhus Convention) ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia – International Conventions" No. 38/09 of 25 May 2009)

3.2. Legal and institutional framework for environmental management
The system of legal norms in environmental protection and improvement in the Republic of Serbia consists of a number of laws and other regulations. Legal and executive authorities are appointed to competent republic organs. Certain authorities are legally devolved to the autonomous province or local governments.

3.2.1. Funding systems in Environment Protection
System of financing environmental protection in the Republic of Serbia is decentralised and counts on dedicated funds, own resources, and budget resources.
Other sources of financing include municipal budgets, industrial financial resources, public enterprises financial resources, and foreign financial aid. General characteristics of the system of financing environmental protection are the insufficiency of dedicated funds and decentralisation of financing sources, particularly from the private sector, as well as the lack of application of financial instruments such as long-term loans, securities, partnership between public and private sector, or investment in stocks.
Proportional investment of dedicated funds for environmental protection related to the realised gross domestic product in 2001 and 2008 was 0.3%. Other countries in transition assign around 2% of GDP for environmental protection.
Funds for environmental protection at the republic level come form taxes for commercial collecting and trading of wild flora and fauna, taxes for environmental pollution equalling 60%, taxes for environmental pollution in areas of particular national interest equalling 80%, taxes for water protection, and funds approved by the Law on Budget of the Republic of Serbia.
The Fund for Environmental Protection was established in 2005, in keeping with the Law on Environmental Protection, for the purpose of securing financial resources for stimulation of environmental protection and improvement in the Republic of Serbia.

The budget funds of the autonomous province and local governments are imposed.

The most active donors and international financial institutions that provide financing of environmental protection include: the EU, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and bilateral donors.

3.3. Integrating biodiversity conservation into relevant sectors
3.3.1. National legislation
The new legal framework on environmental protection was introduced into the Republic of Serbia by a set of laws from 2004 (Law in Environmental Protection, Law on Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment, Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, and Law on Integrated Prevention and Control of Pollution), and it was significantly improved in 2009 by adopting the second set of laws (16) related to environmental protection ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 36/09, Appendix 1), which represent a major progression in coordination of regulations related to environmental protection with EU directives.
A significant number of laws that regulate specific sectors, including issues on environmental and biodiversity protection, were implemented in Serbia. The most important are:

  • Law on Mining ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 44/19995, 34/2006 and 104/2009)

  • Law on Geological Research ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 44/1995 and 101/2005)

  • Law on Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 13/1996)

  • Law on Plant Protection ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 24/1998, 26/1998, 101/2005, and 41/2009)

  • Law on Water Regime ("Official Gazette of SRY" No. 59/1998, "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 101/2005)

  • Law on Energetics ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 84/2004)

  • Law on Agricultural Land ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 62/2006, 65/2008, and 41/2009)

  • Law on Organic Production ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 30/2010)

  • Law on Forest Reproductive Material ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 135/2004, 08/2005, and 41/2009)

  • Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for 2007-2012 ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 21/2007)

  • Law on Air Protection ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 36/2009)

  • Law on Tourism ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 36/2009)

  • Law on Protection from Environmental Noise ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 36/2009)

  • Law on Waste Management ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 36/2009)

  • Law on Chemicals ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 36/2009)

  • Law on Agriculture and Rural Development ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 41/2009)

  • Law on Animal Husbandry ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 41/2009)

  • Law on Plant Health ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 41/2009)

  • Law on Plant Protection Products ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 41/2009)

  • Law on Genetically Modified Organisms ("Official Gazette of SRY" No. 41/2009)

  • Law on Planning and Construction ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 72/2009)

  • Law on Environmental Protection Fund ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 72/2009)

  • Law on Waters ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 30/2010)

  • Law on Forests ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 30/2010)

  • Low on Game Annimals and Hunting ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 18/2010)

3.4. Environmental protection in national strategic documents
Implementing the strategies is a cross-government responsibility, with leadership from all departments to their stakeholders. To halt biodiversity loss, the strategies seek to make biodiversity a part of the mainstream policies and to incorporate the relevant targets at the country level. The basis for most of this is a statutory requirement for public bodies to take account of biodiversity conservation when realising their functions. The strategies emphasise that healthy, thriving and diverse ecosystems are essential to everybody’s quality of life and well-being.

The strategic framework for biodiversity protection is defined through strategic documents and purposes of the Serbian Government for the accession to the EU, through the National Environmental Protection Programme, and through strategic sectors (agriculture, forestry, etc.). The most important strategic documents include:

  • National Strategy for Economic Development of the Republic of Serbia for 2006-2012

  • Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for 2007-2012

  • Energy Sector Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia by 2015

  • Agricultural Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia

  • Integrated Border Management Strategy

  • Foreign Investment Stimulation and Development Strategy

  • Forestry Development Strategy

  • Waste Management National Strategy with the EU Approximation Programme

  • Poverty Reduction Strategy

  • Spatial Plan of the Republic of Serbia

  • Water Management Basics of the Republic of Serbia

  • Strategy for Development of Railway, Road, Water, Air, and Intermodal Transport in the Republic of Serbia for 2008-2015

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