The project “Sustainable agriculture for sustainable Balkans: Strengthening advocacy capacities of CSOs and developing policies in the Western Balkans” is aimed to strengthen advocacy capacities of CSOs using research, training and networking. Project will establish the Regional Working Platform made of CSOs, public authorities and scientists, which will develop regional policy in the area of sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation and animal welfare at the territory of Western Balkans. This policy will be developed based on research aimed at providing information about the level of implementation of sustainability principle in legislation and practices related to agricultural production.

At the same time, a series of capacity building workshops for CSOs and sub-granting scheme which will fund best CSO advocacy projects in sustainable agriculture in targeted countries will be organised. Having in mind the importance of informing and educating the public, training for media representatives and production of information materials about socio-economic benefits of sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation and animal welfare will be conducted. Importance of cooperation between CSOs, decision makers and scientific institutions in creating and implementing policies and regulations will be emphasized.

Project is implemented by consortium of CSOs from Albania (Institute for Environmental Protection – IEP), FYROM (FLOROZON), Kosovo* (NGO AKTIV) and Montenegro (Center for Protection and Research of Birds – CZIP), led by Organisation for Respect and Care of Animals – ORCA from Serbia.

Beside partner organisations, the following 15 associate partners – public authorities, scientific institutions and CSOs – from the Western Balkans countries are included in the project: Serbia – Group for Institutional Support to Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection; Veterinary Office, Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection; Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental protection; Montenegro – Municipality of Tivat; University of Montenegro, Biotechnical Faculty Podgorica; former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of Macedonia; Faculty for Agricultural Sciences and Food, University of Cyril and Methodius Skopje; Association of Farmers of Republic of Macedonia; Alliance of the Cooperatives in Macedonia; Albania: Agency for Rural and Agricultural Development, Kukës Municipality; Regional Directory of Agriculture – Dibër (DRB Dibër); Kosovo*: Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Development (ARDP); Regional Development Agency – North (RDA North); Ministry of Economic Development (MZHE).

The project lasts four years (2016-2019) and is funded by the European Union, represented by European Commission, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) as part of Civil Society Facility and Media Programme 2014-2015. Total budget of the project is 960.760 EUR.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions or status, and in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.