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UNV works in 150 countries and territories, deploying UN Volunteers to advance sustainable development at grassroots level. Explore our work in the different regions of the world.

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Protected area BiH
Forests are among the protected areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina. ©UNEP, 2019

Supporting the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Zlata Grabovac has participated in local volunteer initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a young age. Her drive to contribute to sustainable development inspired her to serve as a national UN Volunteer with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for a project of UN Environment (UNEP). View the photo story below to learn more about Zlata's contribution to environmental sustainability. 

The world still needs to improve addressing environmental issues, especially in the field of politics. With the work experience I have obtained, I will be able to apply knowledge on how power and politics affects environment and related decision-making from the local to the global levels. --national UN Volunteer Zlata Grabovac 

In 2019, Zlata joined a project of UN Environment (UNEP), administered by UNDP, on achieving biodiversity conservation through capacity building and the creation, effective management and spatial designation of protected areas.

The project envisages the expansion of the system of protected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and enabling effective management and mainstreaming of biodiversity into the production landscape. Moreover, it enables the country to fulfil obligations under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Photo: ©UNV, 2020

During her assignment, Zlata has been providing technical and administrative support to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She assists in drafting necessary documentation relevant to fulfilment of the country's obligations under the convention. Furthermore, Zlata supports the implementation of project activities, reviews documentation (including valorisation studies, legislation and guidelines), and organizes and participates in meetings and training sessions.

Zlata has extensive experience working with the managers of the protected areas, and provides the project team with the necessary guidance and development of initiatives. She has been working on ensuring public awareness of the project and advocating for the protection of natural habitats. In this context, Zlata cooperates with a wide range of stakeholders, government institutions and local communities for effective conservation of the natural sites of the country and safeguarding the wellbeing of its communities.

Photo: ©UNEP, 2020

Working towards the Rio Convention is exciting, as I am exposed to new knowledge and people. The great value of being a UN Volunteer is that I learn from people who have rich practical experience in nature conservation. This strengthens my will to work in nature protection. --Zlata Grabovac

The three goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity are to promote the conservation of biodiversity, enable sustainable use of its components and ensure fair and equitable allocation of benefits.

The Convention also provides a framework for cooperation and multisectoral policy coordination, and a forum for dialogue between all stakeholders involved - from the local community and various non-governmental organizations up to regional and national governments, European Union institutions and the United Nations.

Photo: ©UNEP, 2020

To date, this project has delivered four annual meetings of the managers and future managers of the protected areas. We also aim to deliver new tools for nature conservation and science. Our team conducted a few workshops that gathered together civil society, scientific institutions and public figures to gain new knowledge. --Zlata Grabovac

Working group proposed the total of 7 areas to be proclaimed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where five are in Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina and two in Republika Srpska. A consultancy company and ministries (Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of Republika Srpska, UNEP, Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of the Republika Srpska, Cantonal ministries that deal with nature protection) as well as science institutions, NGOs, local communities and interested parties, developed the expert explanation, valorization, and boundaries of the new protected areas.

Photo: ©UNEP, 2020

With her professional acumen, Zlata provides immense value to the team. She is a professional who is strongly dedicated to succesfull implementation of the project activities for attainment of the overall objectives of the project. Zlata's experience, professionalism and knowledge are a strong asset to the team and her motivation and support reflect the UNV mission. --Matea Grabovac, Project Officer with UN Environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

I am happy to gain experience with an organization that has had a wide-ranging impact in the countries where it works with partners and internal stakeholders over the past 75 years. It is also great to be part of the UN that recognizes, and is based on, values of neutrality, impartiality, equality, justice and transparency. --Zlata Grabovac

Photo: ©UNEP, 2020