On the local level, the authorities in charge of environmental issues have limited responsibility for the environmental problems that include air protection, noise protection, communal waste management, urban planning, building permits for small buildings, as well as the strategic evaluation of plans and programs, estimation of the project’s impact on environment and issuing of the integrated permits out of their jurisdiction.
The impacts of the industrial activities on the environment in the city, that are reflected in climate changes, emission of pollutants in air and water, loss of biodiversity, as well as degradation of land and ecosystems are persistently accumulated as a result of decades of excessive consumption and insufficient investment in maintenance and replacement of resources. It is necessary to invest in the economic development that is based on efficient use of natural resources, on the high level of protection and the improvement of the environmental quality. That is why it is necessary to prevent further environmental pollution and promote sustainable production and consumption, in a way that that the economic development do not cause the proportional increase of environmental degradation.
The environment pollution problems in the city are to a large extent caused by the obsolete technology and equipment, as well as of low energy and raw material efficiency, that is partially the consequence of the lack of funds for the improvement of the existing condition.
With the aim to prevent and control the pollution the efforts are put in innovation of technological processes in companies, in introduction of the best available techniques and the best environmental practices. The companies can introduce voluntary measures like certification and introduction of cleaner production, enabling more efficient consumption of raw materials and energy, reduction of emission and generation of waste. The advantage of the inclusion of the system of environmental protection management, as well as cleaner production is not only in function of environmental protection but also results in costs reduction, increase of competitiveness of technologies and skills on international markets and expansion of the market operations.
Development of clean, efficient and safe energy supply, use of less polluting energy, as well as efficient natural resources management are necessary conditions for the sustainable future.
The cooperation in ELAIN project is very important for the City of Niš as it opens new opportunities in recognition of the joint priority ecological problems, exchange of best practices and experiences in the area of environmental protection among the partner cities, defining the ability to solve them and improve the environment in the partner cities.