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Environmental Local Authorities InterBalkan Network - ELAIN

Ivan Vasic, NGO Center for Civil Initiatives

The second international event in Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina,  held from 3-6 of November 2014, was a great chance to compare participants’ ideas, problems, solutions and some experiences relating environmental issues.
It was a joint opinion of the participants that the local ecological network in Balkans needs to be strengthened more, mainly so we can help each other, and as a next step, to establish a network of environmentally protected zones in this area.

After last year's floods in the region, the importance of environmental protection at the local level is especially evident. Team from Bijeljina showed a documentary film, regarding last year’s floods in their city, and participants from other cities and countries could saw how dangerous nature could be, especially when we didn't respect it, the way we should had.

Particularly interesting was a workshop which was organized at the event. The topic was - How to react in case of flooding? The participants were asked a question: "What are the three things that in the case of floods you would like to have with you?". Answers of participants were very similar, most of them wrote on papers that they would like to had with them these things: drinking water, cell phone and a flash light.

After the event, everybody agreed that we should continue with this activities, because we were just at the beginning, there was a lot more to be done.