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Preparatory Process

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1. Sustainable Tourism in Serbia
[Prepared by Directorate for Environmental Protection-Ministry for Health and Environmental Protection of Serbia]

Tourist travels have become a part of the contemporary way of life. In its tourism development policy, an important and unavoidable sector, Serbia must make a strong and quality switch toward a new approach to the harmonization of tourism development with the minimal negative effects on the environment. The characteristics of the territory of Serbia, that is, its natural and artificial values, are a very good model for a contemporary concept of sustainable development. Serbia has traditional programs of spa, mountain and village tourism, although it is still a slave to the stereotype of "totally static tourism". However, with the diversity of its potential, Serbia is capable of meeting all the demands of contemporary active tourism and can be presented through "a thousand tourist programs for a thousand tourist destinations" in accordance with the sustainable development and preservation of ecologically protected areas. In this sense, it is necessary to define optimal tourist destinations, ensure the development of tourism with minimal damage to the environment and the local community. In the process of promoting sustainable tourism it is necessary to include factors at all levels, both local and region al. The tourist infrastructure should be well thought out and the tourist activities programmed so as to preserve natural heritage. The participants in tourism development should accept the introduction of limitations or bans on their activities when they are carried out in particularly sensitive areas, suitable for the creation of protected areas.

The key processes of the movement of Serbia toward sustainable tourism are:
  • to ensure the functioning of natural phenomena and processes under the conditions of sustainable tourism development in protected and other areas;
  • to ensure compatibility of tourism development with the cultural and traditional values;
  • to correct and direct the behavior of tourists, that is, make them aware of their responsibility through a program of ecological awareness raising;
  • to improve the material basis of tourism (communications, reception, infrastructure, superstructure);
  • to solve the problems between the local citizens and the development of sustainable tourism;
  • to direct economic activities and harmonize them with sustainable tourism; · to achieve economic efficiency of sustainable tourism;
  • to harmonize the activities of the state organs with sustainable tourism.
  • to provide optimal functioning of local, regional and non-governmental organizations relative to sustainable tourism.

2. Local Action Plan for the city of NIŠ in Serbia

The initiation of the program of designing local ecological action plans in the Republic of Serbia marks the inclusion of our country into the processes already begun in other Central and East European countries. The basic objective is to comprise all the participants in the protection of the environment at the local levels and to initiate a program of harmonization with the standards of environment protection in the European Union. In 1999, in Belgrade, an initiative was set in motion to implement local ecological action plans in selected local communities in the Republic of Serbia. This also marks the first stage in the design of local ecological action plans where the only participant was the city of Subotica. Unfortunately, unfavorable social and historical circumstances, primarily the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, and the events relating to the democratic changes in Serbia in September and October 2000, have, temporarily, arrested the design of local ecological action plans. In the second stage, in December 2000, three additional local communities were selected, those ready and willing to take part in the project: Niš, Vrnjacka Banja and Kraljevo. The third stage, begun in November 2001, added five more local communities interested in the design of the local ecological action plan: Lucani, Kruševac, Bor, Pirot and Zrenjanin. The design of the local ecological action plan in Niš started from the fact that the major problem was drinking water - there is not enough of it and its quality is not good - and the danger to both surface and underground waters, so that the local authorities and their agencies were included, as well as some civil-engineering enterprises, to work out the details of the long-term objectives and the collection of data on the possibilities of reconstruction of the existing water supply network. The next step in the implementation of the local ecological action plan in Niš is an economic analysis of the envisaged projects and the start pf the activities designed to remove them.

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24 August 2006