Public participation activities undertaken during preparation of the Sava RBM Plan can be summarized into three main categories:
Providing information to general public
A number of activities to raise awareness about the Sava RBM Plan were implemented aiming at enhanced transparency about the RBMP and its preparation process, as well as increased engagement of stakeholders. These included:
- Making the information about the development of the RBMP, its preparation phases and the consultation activities implemented, publicly accessible throughout the preparation period, through the ISRBC official website – www.savacommission.org (e.g. Sava River Basin Analysis, draft Sava River Basin Management Plan).
- Preparation, and presentation to the public, of different publications, containing information on the Sava RBMP preparation, such as the official bulletin of the ISRBC – Sava NewsFlash, a periodic publication regularly distributed to more than 200 stakeholders directly and made available through the official web site of the ISRBC, as well.
- Delivery of presentations on development of the Sava RBMP at meetings of stakeholder groups in the Parties to the FASRB and Montenegro, organized by the ISRBC or other organizations/institutions (e.g. ICPDR, Zelena Akcija, REC, Nature Park Lonjsko Polje, etc.), as well as at various other events (organized by UNECE, etc.).
Meetings with institutions and organizations of the concerned countries
The preparation of the Sava RBM Plan was marked by a number of meetings of the staff of the Secretariat of the ISRBC, as well as of the experts preparing the Sava RBMP, with representatives of national authorities, research institutions, national and international NGOs. The meetings aimed at collecting information and data, as well as discussing issues related to the management of the basin. The meetings constituted a valuable consultation process through which the stakeholders have contributed in the formulation of the RBMP.
Consultation workshops at the transboundary level
Three major consultation workshops have been carried out to mark important milestones in the draft RBMP development:
- Workshop on the significant water management issues (SWMI) with the objectives to introduce a wide circle of stakeholders to the integrated water management concept and the requirements of the WFD and get input on the subject (SWMIs) (Zagreb (HR), September 27-28, 2010).
- Workshop on the Programme of Measures (PoM) with the objective to introduce the proposed PoM to stakeholders and collect feedback (Sarajevo (BA), June 28-30, 2011).
- Stakeholder Forum (Belgrade (RS), November 9-10, 2011) which was organized to present the draft Sava RBMP and collect comments on its content from all related stakeholders, before start of the web based consultation process. Stakeholders’ participation in the implementation of the RBMP and later on in the development of the revised RBMP was also discussed.
Active involvement of stakeholders
The overall process of the Sava RBM Plan preparation has been led by the Permanent Expert Group for River Basin Management (PEG RBM) of the ISRBC. Certain issues touching upon the RBMP have been subject to ad-hoc discussions of other expert groups, in accordance with their competence. A major stakeholders / stakeholder groups have had an opportunity to actively participate in this process, as well as in all other activities of the ISRBC, by gaining the observer status. This opportunity is well-utilized by organizations already holding this status to actively participate at the meetings of the ISRBC and its PEG RBM. This sort of the two-way communication was a valuable asset during the preparation of the Plan.