Sarajevo Canton joins EBRD’s Green City Action Plan project
12.02.2019 at 11:46
The Sarajevo Canton and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have launched a joint project titled the Green City Action Plan (GCAP), which aims to identify the environmental priorities of the canton, as well as to explore the air flow and air quality in the Sarajevo basin and the influence of high-rises on air flow corridors.
This project that will contribute to the updating of the cantonal environmental protection plan represents the inclusion of the canton in the EBRD Green Cities project, making Sarajevo the third city in Bosnia and Herzegovina that has joined this program, in addition to Zenica and Banja Luka.
The cantonal PM Edin Forto said a press conference on Tuesday that the project ensures a methodology that foreign investors have recognized as a format, which can provide funds and investments in the sectors of air quality improvement, road infrastructure, public transportation and energy efficiency.
“The canton's ecology action plan, which may be a good basis for this project and is passed for a five-year period, stipulates the investments of 500 million KM (approx. EUR 250 million),” said Forto.
The project is funded by the Government of Japan with a grant of EUR 300,000, while the Japanese Ambassador to BiH, Hideyuki Sakamoto, noted that the Sarajevo Canton has several environmental challenges, among which the most important issue is air pollution, which is exactly the issue treated by this project.
On behalf of the Representative of the EBRD in BiH, Josip Polić explained that the purpose of this project is to make a list of priority activities for reducing all forms of pollution in the canton, which includes air, water and soil, as well as noise reduction, basically, all that reduces the quality of life of the city inhabitants.
“The interest of the EBRD is to work with the canton to provide financial resources for the implementation of these priority activities. The bank’s job is to secure a loan, while the canton's task would be to attract donor co-financing,” he pointed out.
He expressed expectation that one of the main donors would be the European Union, having in mind the aspiration of BiH for full membership in the EU, and expressed hope that in the period of six to eight months, an Action Plan or a list of priority activities would be compiled.
The GCAP project is EBRD's EUR 950 million worth instrument, which provides a comprehensive business model for green urban development, combining strategic planning with the investment and complementary technical assistance.
The EBRD's goal is to increase the scope of green financing to 40 percent of the bank's overall annual investment by 2020.
The EBRD is currently cooperating with the Sarajevo Canton on similar projects to increase energy efficiency through reconstruction of pumping plants and electricity supply. Two projects in the field of transport are being prepared, one for the construction of a part of the First Transversal, and the other refers to the reconstruction of the tram network, which should include the purchase of vehicles.