The official closure of the “Enhanced Cross-Sectoral Land Management through Land Use Pressure Reduction and Planning” Project was marked at the event held on 07 October 2019 at Fabrika event center in Belgrade. The event gathered project partners and other relevant stakeholders to jointly summarize the activities conducted throughout project implementation.
As the first one to deal with the historical pollution through the investigation of abandoned industrial sites in the country, the project aimed to provide the lacking methodologies, knowledge and coordination mechanisms for sustainable and integrated management of soil as a natural resource. It supported the establishment of state, provincial and local networks for land use and soil quality monitoring, strengthened administrative capacities at national and local level and contributed to enhanced cooperation among institutions dealing with land degradation issues with specific focus on the management of contaminated sites.
The Project enabled the identification of over 700 contaminated and potentially contaminated sites throughout the country, analyses of soil, water and sediment for 32 sites, while 14 former industrial sites have been prioritized for remediation. The project has also delivered trainings to local authorities on sustainable land management, soil quality monitoring and submission of data to the Cadaster of Contaminated Sites managed by the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). An interactive hotspot map has been created to help manage data for polluted sites, and SEPA officials have been trained to plan detailed investigation of a contaminated site and perform preliminary risk assessment as a basis for deciding which sites should be prioritized for remediation, putting the Serbian government in good stead for further clean-up actions.
The event was also an opportunity to present synergies established with other thematically related projects and award Certificates of Appreciation to project partners, thus highlighting their respective roles on the project and contribution to producing the desired goals.
The Project “Enhanced Cross-Sectoral Land Management through Land Use Pressure Reduction and Planning”, launched in September 2015, was funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a considerable contribution by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, and implemented by UNEP together with the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection and SEPA.
The video presentation of the project is available on the following link.