Citizen led conference ups the stakes on the institutional deadlock in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Wednesday, Sarajevo, 26th June 2013. Catalys, joined Green Council and over 65 representatives of BiH institutions; Parliament, donors, media, business and NGOs to call for a State level Ministry of Agriculture to help clear political roadblocks to investment in agriculture and rural development, as well as to help the path to EU accession.
The conference reviewed the findings of a 5 month research project undertaken by the Green Council (http://green-council.org/); supported by the Centre for Civic Initiatives, Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) and USAID). The researchers looked at the evidence to determine the case for a state level Agriculture Ministry, the legislative basis for the unsatisfactory status quo, and the relative merits of the alternatives currently under consideration. The research also compared progress in BiH with that in Croatia over the past decade; during which time BiH has achieved as much progress in 12 years as did Croatia in their first 12 months of the accession process.
The following piece covering the conference also appeared on the Alterural site:
A greater place for CSO’s in rural development policies
In Bosnia, after a long silence, CSO’s participation in public life gradually emancipates from political arenas as lately seen with the tragic case of baby Berina and large demonstrations in Sarajevo. It is a struggle to draw the conditions for greater involvement of civil society in public policy. In rural development issues as well, the citizens themselves are the most legitimate to identify their own needs, and contribute to the development of the most appropriate responses to the challenges of tomorrow. This begins with most basic individual rights and goes to much technical issues such as the integration to EU. The 28th of May in Ilidža was held a conference to enhance the ACoRD project „Alliance for Common Rural Development“ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a project funded by the European Union from pre-accession programmes to support the civil society development. It is implemented by the Agency for Cooperation, Education and Development (ACED) as a lead organization in partnership with REDAH, Nesto Vise, LAG Una-Sana and European partner ELARD. This forum is considered as a very positive preliminary step for CSOs to organize the debate on technical fields to improve advocacy. This was significantly the same conclusion focusing on the role of citizens during a conference organized by the “Green council” NGO under the auspices of USAID in Sarajevo on the last 26th of June.
Given the lack of political will and lost available funds, the role of civil society will be decisive for the future. The objective of the event was to present the result of a research on the question: ”Why does BiH need a state Ministry of agriculture, food and rural development?”. For rural tourism stakeholders and Alterural, it is essential to participate to these forums and develop exchanges. Indeed, the sector particularly targets family agriculture and possible diversification strategies in the Bosnian Countryside. The support to a sustainable Rural tourism can indeed be an important and dynamic element of local rural economies. It also emphasies the role and involvement of active local NGOs in rural areas.Read more