Financing

Environmental financing is one of the elements of good environmental management. All actors, from institutions at the national level, through the economy and local governments to citizens’ associations, have an important role to play in planning, monitoring and improving the funding system. Considering numerous elements in financing, Coalition 27 concluded that the system of financing in the field of environmental protection and climate change in the Republic of Serbia is still far from functional.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)

Horizontal Legislation

During the reporting period, there was no legislative activity that would lead to a more complete harmonization of the horizontal legislation of the Republic of Serbia with the regulations of the European Union. Due to the lack of amendments to the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment and the Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment, these procedures, crucial for the protection of the environment in the Republic of Serbia from the harmful effects of various plans and projects, are still not improved.

Therefore, impact assessment and strategic impact assessment procedures generally remain a formality, with limited interest or public participation, which rarely produces effects and even less often leads to recourse to the judiciary. Judicial practice regarding environmental issues is still underdeveloped, while the Environmental Protection Inspectorate still does not have sufficient capacity to adequately carry out environmental monitoring.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)
Report for 2014 (pdf)

Air Quality

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), approximately 2.5 million people, or one third of Serbia’s population, inhaled excessively polluted air during the reporting period. These data should be taken with a grain of salt as insufficient availability of valid hourly data has been achieved within the national air quality monitoring network – 48% of stations have sent enough data.

Most cities and municipalities that had excessively polluted air recorded excessive concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 particles, which are primarily caused by the use of solid fuel for heating in individual households and small heating plants. The Air Protection Strategy, as an umbrella document at the state level for this area of ​​public policy, has not yet been adopted.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
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Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)

Waste Management

In 2019, the Ministry of Environmental Protection revoked the waste management permits of one of the largest operators for hazardous waste management. The inability of the hazardous waste producer to hand over the waste to an adequate operator has caused the accumulation of hazardous waste in temporary storage facilities, which poses an additional danger to the environment and human health.

Based on the National Strategy from 2009, it is planned to close and recultivate the existing landfills and build 29 regional sanitary landfills. By the end of 2019, 11 sanitary landfills had been built. Although they have the obligation to dispose of waste in sanitary landfills, local self-government units do not do that. Most likely, municipal waste is still disposed of in municipal non-sanitary landfills, because disposal in sanitary landfills is paid for.

Unsanitary landfills and dumps are great polluters, but also a great danger, because fires are frequent, and the spread of infection is possible. During 2019, many unsanitary landfills and dumps burned.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)
Report for 2014 (pdf)

Water Quality

Water problems in Serbia have been accumulating for decades. First of all, it refers to the pollution of water with communal and industrial waters and to various types of hydromorphological pressures which have disturbed the condition of our watercourses. The extremely small percentage of wastewater treatment is perhaps the biggest challenge in the field of environmental protection, given the amount of financial resources needed to make progress, ie to build water treatment systems.

In the previous reporting period, specific implementation plans were prepared for four EU water directives, which should be used to prepare the negotiating position of the Republic of Serbia in the process of EU accession in the field of water. Last year, the Water Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry started the implementation of the project Support to Public Policy Planning within the water management sector. At the end of 2019, the first concrete steps towards the development of the Water Management Plan on the territory of the Republic of Serbia 2021-2027 were presented. years.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
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Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)
Report for 2014 (pdf)

Nature Protection

Weak legislative activity has not offered an answer to legal solutions that have not been able to resolve the entrenched and growing gaps between the use and protection of natural values ​​for some time. In creating and implementing regulations, the speed of approving development projects and activities has a striking advantage, with very formal consideration of the effects they have on nature.

Despite numerous announcements, no amendments have been made to the Law on Nature Protection concerning the construction of small hydropower plants in protected areas. A particularly striking example of the slow pace of legislation is the ten-year wait for the adoption of the Regulation on the assessment of acceptability for the ecological network. Among the causes for the bad situation in the sector are certainly the limited funds that the state invests in nature protection, as well as the insufficient number of projects whose implementation would improve the situation in this area.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)
Report for 2014 (pdf)

Chemicals Management

The legislative framework created by the adoption of the Law on Chemicals, the Law on Biocidal Products and the relevant bylaws has established a modern system of chemical management, which is largely in line with EU regulations. Regarding the updating of the List of Substances of Candidates for the List of Substances of Concern, as well as the List of Substances of Concern, there have been no changes compared to the previous report.

Given that in the EU this list has been further updated several times, at this time there is a significant difference in the number of substances on the EU list and in domestic regulation, which limits the exercise of consumer rights in Serbia to information about the presence of these substances in products .

It is necessary to continue with the further development of the legislative framework, both through further harmonization of regulations taking into account the new EU regulations, as well as amendments to existing ones, and strengthening the capacity necessary for the implementation of regulations.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)

Noise

The new Law on Environmental Noise Protection has not yet been adopted. Although local governments have an obligation under the current Law to determine acoustic zones, most of them have not performed acoustic zoning. There has been some progress in enforcing regulations. The first Strategic Noise Map for the agglomeration of the City of Nis was made, using the CNOSSOS method.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)

Climate Change

During the reporting period, legislative activity was at a minimum. The draft Law on Climate Change (as well as the accompanying bylaws), which is crucial for alignment with the legal framework of the European Union, has not yet been adopted. The low-carbon development strategy (which should determine the direction of development towards decarbonisation, identify quantified opportunities to reduce GHG254 emissions and define key measures for adaptation to changed climatic conditions) was in the form of a proposal at a public hearing, but was also not adopted during the reporting period.

The scenario for GHG emissions, which is recommended as optimal in the proposed Strategy, assumes a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2030 compared to 1990. In this way, the possibilities for a significant increase in the climate ambition of the Republic of Serbia are clearly presented, in relation to the currently set goal of 9.8% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030.

Work on the National Energy and Climate Plan (NEKP) is still at an early stage, as a national working group for the NEKP has not been formed, retaining preparatory work on reference and policy scenarios.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)
Report for 2014 (pdf)

Forestry

The forestry sector is still without an umbrella strategic document. The Forestry Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia has formally expired with the entry into force of the Law on the Planning System of the Republic of Serbia. There is no official information on the development of the Forestry Development Program, prescribed by the Law on Forests. The results of the GEF project Contribution to Sustainable Forest Management with Low Emissions and Adaptive Development are expected to significantly contribute to the development of the Forestry Development Program, as well as other planned international projects.

The basic problems of forestry from previous periods still remain current. Despite the assessment that the general condition of forests is satisfactory, there remains the problem of high representation of coppice forests (57%), the prevalence of illegal logging, lack of data on privately owned forests and poor control of their use.

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Report for 2020 (pdf)
Report for 2019 (pdf)
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Industrial Pollution and Risk Management

Untreated industrial wastewater is one of the key sources of surface and groundwater pollution in the Republic of Serbia. The biggest polluters are the Smederevo Ironworks, the Nikola Tesla Thermal Power Plants A and B, Zorka Sabac, the Kostolac Thermal Power Plant, the Bor and Sjenica mines and the Kolubara open pit mine. There are very few industrial pollutants that treat their wastewater.

Serbia must also solve the problem of “historical” pollution: hazardous and industrial waste left in companies that have gone bankrupt or are in bankruptcy, and which do not have the means to solve this problem. In the past period, the legislative framework has not changed, and there have been no consultations with the civil sector regarding the change of regulations.

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Report for 2018 (pdf)
Report for 2017 (pdf)
Report for 2016 (pdf)
Report for 2015 (pdf)
Report for 2014 (pdf)