Bosnia i Herzegovina: a valley’s rebirth

Integrated action of organic agriculture, sustainable tourism and socio-economic inclusion in UNA SANA Valley

icon-home Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
icon-flag Site: Six municipalities of Una Sana Canton: Bihac, Vazin, Velika Kladusa, Buzim, Bosanska Krupa, Drvar
icon-calendar Year: 2010 – 2013
icon-group Partners: In consortium with the NGO IPSIA, local partner:  Centar za Odrzivi Razvoi “ UNA”
icon-euro Sponsors: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Context
The Una Sana Canton is the western corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bordered by Croatia both to the North and the West, with a 4,125 km2 area and a population of 287,135 people.
The capital town, due to the presence of the canton’s administrative headquarters, accounts for nearly 25% of the total employment of the canton, but compared to the 21,000 stable employees of the pre-war period it shows a heavy deficit notably as concerns  the agroindustry. Agriculture has today a bad image among the people, in particular the youths. Farm work is seen as “poor”, physically heavy, not profitable.

Objectives
This project will address the massive unemployment in Bosnia, working along several lines  to promote the diversification of incomes, an increase of employment, the improvement of living standards and food security, and the protection of the environment.
By valorizing the natural and cultural resources of target communities, it will provide work opportunities to young people and the residents, strengthening agricultural production and tourism offer of the area.

Beneficiaries
The project is addressed to 2,000 households of the concerned area and 163 small farmers. 

Results
The project actions contributed to strengthen and widen the tourism offer in the concerned area, promoting a sustainable and participatory development pattern that favored income generation locally, broke social isolation and valorized local natural, historical and architectural resources.
1,000 people were trained and sensibilized to the principles of sustainable tourism and 6 tourist routes were promoted on the local and international level . The project also lead to sign 3 agreements with national and international tour operators to market responsible tourism packages.
As for the agricultural sector, a high value-added supply chain was developed for organic wild berries, both sustainable and generating income for the concerned farmers, with product quality: 65 households started the production and marketing of wild berries, 25 hectares of land have been  destined to wild berries production, that reached 20 tons at the end of the 3rd year of the project. Three commercial agreements were also signed with wild berries exporters.
As for the involvement of young people, the participation by youths and adolescents to the design of strategies for land management and development has been strengthened , by a series of social, cultural and productive actions aimed at providing fresh professional opportunities and future perspectives to young people, so reducing  the massive outflow of young generations to abroad: 50% of youths of the target communities have taken part to social and communities activities, 400 youths have been involved in theoretical and practical activities of sensibilization on local issues, 140 girls and boys of high schools in 6 target municipalities have been involved in theoretical and practical training on sustainable development and the vision of land, 50 youths have found a job in the tourism or agrofood sectors.