Strengthening Serbian national capacities
Čet 04.10.2018 • Projektni tim

AgendaQSP Project No.: QSPTF/13/13/GOV/19

"Strengthening Serbian national capacities and inter-sectorial synergies for safe management of contaminated sites and related hazardous substances to prevent negative impact on human health and the environment"

Kick-off meeting,
21 May 2018, 14h00 - 22 May 2018, 16h00,
National Health Institute (Batut), Belgrade


DAY 1 – 21 May

  1. Welcome
  2. Finalisation of contracts
    • Update of UNEP – WHO agreement
    • Preparation of WHO- BATUT agreement
  3. Update of current activities in Serbia (e.g., other UNEP projects etc)
  4. Upcoming tasks: Development of overview report (1.2)
  5. Upcoming tasks: Development of Roadmap document (2.1)
    • Rationale
    • Outline
    • Milestones and next steps
  6. Upcoming tasks: 1st Stakeholders consultation, June 2018 (1.3)
    • Rationale and goals
    • Identification of key stakeholders
    • Programme
    • CoI

DAY 2 – 22 May

  1. Upcoming tasks: Bor case study (2.2)
    • Available population and health data
    • Available environmental data
    • Available occupational data
    • Available evidence from the scientific literature – e.g. possible review on copper?
    • Preliminary analysis
    • Goals
  2. Upcoming tasks: Capacity building workshop, planned September 2018 (4.2)
    • Rationale and goals
    • Design
    • Dates 
  3. Upcoming tasks: project’s website (4.1)
  4. Interface with European EH Process
  5. Collaboration with ICSHNet COST Actionand ISS/WHO CC
  6. Wrap up - Next steps
  7. Close



List of participants

  1. Marco Martuzzi, WHO Bonn Office
  2. Ivano Iavarone, National Institute of Health, ISS, Italy; Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for environmental health in contaminated sites
  3. Aleksandar Bojović, WHO National Office, Serbia
  4. Verica Jovanović, M.D., PhD, Director of Institute of Public Health of Serbia (IPHS)
  5. Darija Kisić Tepavčević, M.D., PhD, Deputy Director of IPHS
  6. Branislava Matić Savićević, M.D.,MSc, Head of Environmental Health and School Hygiene Department, IPHS, Team coordinator
  7. Dragan Miljuš, M.D. Head of Department for NCDs, IPHS, epidemiologist
  8. Snežana Živković Perišić, Department for NCDs, Cancer Register, epidemiologist
  9. Marjana Stojanović, environmental data analyst, Environmental Health and School Hygiene Department, IPHS
  10. Svetlana Vrga, Department for International Cooperation and Project Activities, IPHS
  11. Uroš Rakić, PhD, GIS expert, Environmental Health and School Hygiene Department, IPHS
  12. Viša Tasić, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Bor
  13. Aleksandra Mladenović, president of the NGO “Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development”
  14. Ivan Đuričković, Ministry for Environment Protection (MEP), Department for Chemicals
  15. Sonja Roglić, MEP, Head of Department for Chemicals, SAICM National Focal Point
  16. Dragana Vidojević, PhD, Serbian Agency for Environment Protection (SEPA)
  17. Ljiljana Jovanović, M.D., Ministry of Health, National Focal Point for Environment and Health

After the Welcoming word from the Director of the Institute of Public Health of Serbia (IPHS), we were, firstly briefed on the status of the Project Contract with UNEP by Marco Martuzzi.

We, then, reached mutual consent on the better effectiveness of the meeting. If we do some re-scheduling of the proposed Agenda, discussing data availability for the next day, and hoping that our perception of a Road map structuring will be clearer, at the end.

Three presentations were shown during the 2-day meeting, whose contents will serve as a basis for our further discussion and planning of further steps.

By the Agenda, the part “Update of current activities in Serbia (e.g., other UNEP projects etc)” was presented by Dragana Vidojević, who has informed us on the overall activities of SEPA in environmental monitoring, on the development of cadaster of contaminated sites (CS) at national level, and on the recent cooperation between SEPA and UNEP at some registered CS, undertaken together with other expert stakeholders.

Availability of health data was presented by Snežana Živković Perišić (Cancer Registry, Department for NCDs):cancer incidence for 35 cancer sites, from 1995 to 2015 based on the Cancer Registry serving Central Serbia (18 Districts): minimum geographical level = settlement; mortality from 1995 to 2015 for all Serbia, minimum geographical unit = settlement. A preliminary description of cancer incidence in the Bor site was provided based on SENTIERI methodology. 

Uroš Rakić has given us a brief review on AIR Q Plus software possibilities in assessing health effects of air pollution, which was part of his analytical work with colleagues from the WHO, presented at the 21st Environment and Health Task Force (Long range transboundary air pollution), held in Bonn, May 2018.

Namely, the Minutes from this 2-day meeting will be structured through a list of specific topics covered, rather than using a chronological pattern.

Topic 1: Development of the Overview Report Draft

Key suggestions on the structure of the document were given by Marco Martuzzi.

- Description of the current situation: to put together everything that has been produced until now

- mapping of all different stakeholders in Bor, besides smelting and mining premises

- legislative tools in managing ICSs: gap analysis of legal acts in both environmental and health sector

- to revise knowledge gaps

- to perform data mapping

- Actually, this Overview Report, is a “Chapter Zero” of the Roadmap, which will draw also from exisiting material, for example from the project proposal and from the published literature in English

- the document will be drafted in English, with a view that final versions will be translated into Serbian

- there is no limitation on the document size; it will need to cover all the relevant areas above with some details; overall it is expected that it will be around 30 or so pages in length.

- As a Project deliverable, it should be drafted until the end of June, and shared within the project team before the Stakeholders workshop; it will then be finalized by October


Structure of the document

I. Introduction:

    I. a.  A general definition of contaminated sites and their health implications

    I. b. Dragana Vidojevic – material from the presentation that was shown to us, including a cadaster and the maps of defined CSs in Serbia, and a graph on the nature of contamination sites, with a final focus on CSs in Bor, which could be, then, continued by Viša Tasić.

    I. c. Viša Tasić: historical preview of copper mining and metal-processing activities in Bor, Majdanpek, Krivelj; Demographic data; Data on copper production intensity


II. Legal framework (gap analysis), for both environmental and health sectors, in connection with the management of contaminated sites: Sonja Roglić and Ivan Đuričković for environmental sector & Branislava Matić Savićević with the IPHS for (public) health approach to ICSs. Concerning legislative framework, especially the gap analysis, a note on this issue should be made in the final chapter of the document, expressing further needs and priorities.



This part shall be filled in by both sectors. Actually, at the meeting, we were shown two very detailed presentations, by Dragana Vidojević (SEPA) and Snežana Živković Perišić (IPHS), informing us on the scope of the environment and health availability, monitoring processes, and follow-up methodologies. We have all concluded that these materials could be efficiently used in this part of the Draft Preview Report Document.

In particular, concerning environmental data, there are several monitoring activities carried out, with different mandates, by various Serbian Institutes/Agencies. For instance for the site of Bor, besides data from SEPA and the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, there are other sources of relevant information: IPHS coordinates other monitoring activities related to chemical contamination (in particular metals) in Bor and in other CS are coordinated by IPHS.

Viša Tasić could make his contribution to this chapter, giving us a list of Bor local stakeholders, generators of different environmental data,

Also, IPHS will contact the local IPHS Timok, responsible for 2 Administrative Districts (Borski, Zaječarski), in order to obtain data on drinking water quality in the Public Water Distribution and Supply system (Bor Waterboard Company). We will enquire into the centralized data base for drinking water quality, held by the IPHS.

ACTION: a description of all environmental monitoring activities (and relevant data) carried out, with different mandates, by various Serbian Institutions/Agencies, especially for Bor, for all environmental media (soil, water, sediments, air) has to be detailed in the report.

Available data, if applicable for the given set of data, could be mapped (Uroš Rakić)


IV. Document conclusions

Conclusions should point out on events and turning points on which to focus when delivering the Road map, especially baring in mind the following topics:

  • Institutional arrangements
  • Research methodology
  • Legislative framework



Colleagues mentioned above to send their contributions to Branislava by 8 June (ok?);

IPHS to complete the draft and share with the project team by 22 June;

IPHS to prepare a short (approx. 2 page) summary text of the document, in English and Serbian, by 28 June, for possible circulation at the stakeholders meeting; the text will also be useful for the project website.IPHS to define the steering committee of the Project, which must include representatives from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health


Topic 2. Upcoming tasks: 1st Stakeholders consultation, June 2018

Mutual understanding was achieved on the date of the event. The date is set on June 29th 2018 at 10:20 a.m. - mid afternoon

Defining stakeholders for the meeting/consultation. Agreement was mutual that part of the SHs should be from the local level, such as: NGO, local self-government (municipality secretariat for environment protection), regional development agency; representative of the RTB Bor Company; International SHs, such as WHO, UNEP;

Ministries: environment protection, health, mining and energy.

Detailed list of suggested key stakeholders to be invited (cca 50):

Type of stakeholder

Name of the stakeholder

Local level (Town of Bor, Municipality, Region of Eastern Serbia)

  • RTB Bor Company representative
  • Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities
  • Local NGO (Young Researchers “Mladi istraživači)
  • RARIS, East Serbia Agency for Regional Development
  • Local Institute of Public Health from Zaječar
  • Local Health Council
  • Primary Health Center Bor, Epidemiologist
  • Municipality of Bor, Secretariat for Environment Protection
  • Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, etc

Governmental bodies, Ministries

  • Ministry of Health (Danijela Urošević, ass.min.)
  • Ministry of Environment Protection (Biljana Filipović, ass.min)
  • Ministry of Mining and Energy
  • Ministry of Economic Development
  • Person delegated from the Minister without portfolio, responsible for sustainable development

International Organizations

  • - WHO, Country Office, Serbia
  • - UNEP Serbia, etc?

*all stakeholders involved in the Project Team are invited to call their colleagues to attend the Consultation

** When such events are taking place in the Institute of Public Health of Serbia, it is a matter of professional practice that Institute, as a key Public Health institution invites representatives of all local Institutes of Public Health in Serbia. This issue will be discussed internally.

Designing the event

Conditional Programme to be forwarded to Ivano and Marco up to the end of this week

  • Starting from the general, broader picture of industrially contaminated sites and health
  • Slipping the attention from the general view to Bor town and surroundings as a contaminated site
  • Ideas for the speakers and the Agenda, as discussed at the kick-off meeting:
  • Welcome and description of the project objective and expected goals
  • Marco Martuzzi: Linking Ostrava Declaration and WHO activities to the issue of ICSs
  • Ivano Iavarone: Introducing COST IS1408 Action together with the Consensus Statement of the COST Action participating  experts

Implementing National Portfolio

  • Branislava Matić Savićević - Public Health Aspect of ICSs in Serbia
  • Dragana Vidojević (SEPA) - the same presentation as shown to us at the kick-off meeting
  • Department of Chemicals Management (MEP) - please define the title

A broad agreement was reached at the KOM, to give some time for the local stakeholders to present their view on the subject of industrial contamination in Bor and its surroundings, with a ppt, as well.

Suggestion included the following stakeholders: Municipality, NGO, local Institute of Public Health Timok Zaječar?

Some organizational issues

  • Someone should moderate the event
  • A leaflet to be developed for the event? Resources?
  • An idea was put in consideration to distribute a one-page (5 questions) Questionnaire to the present stakeholders, which will include their awareness of the topic in general, or specifically in Bor, with a blank field left for their suggestion how would they deal with the problem
  • Meeting will be in English, which means that an interpreter is needed.
  • We agreed that Invitation should be sent to the stakeholder twice. Two weeks before and again a few days before (preferably at the beginning of that week, as the event wil take place on Friday, June 29th 2018). Invitations will be distributed by the Institute of Public Health of Serbia.
  • A suggestion was made that a short text could be uploaded to web sites of both partner ministries (Environment Protection, Health), just as a short info on the KOM and core activities of the project. It could be discussed further on among the two ministries.


Other topics:

Tentative dates for the capacity building workshop: 2 days in the week beginning 24 September. The event will focus on providing resources, methods and tools for taking advantage of the rich data on CS and health available in the country, addressing the needs of specialists in both the health and environment sector; for example, exposure assessment, risk and health impact assessment, geographical analyses, risk management and communication will be considered.

  • Action: WHO to prepare a proposed outline/objective for the workshop, by 28 June.

The available data presented at the meeting, both environmental and on health, are very rich and promising; substantial analytical work can be undertaken within the project, using well established methodology such as SENTIERI.

As to the analysis of health data, it was agreed to verify the possibility a) to define study populations different from those defined purely on administrative basis for cancer incidence and mortality in the Bor site (1 district, 4 municipalities and 14 settlements); b) to identify appropriate reference populations; c) to extend the analyses to main diagnostic groups of childhood cancers (verify the possibility to use ICCC3 Revision); d) to develop SES indicators based on census data; e) to carry out “SENTIERI” analyses for mortality data based on a list of causes a priory associated with residential exposures in BOR; f) to carry out analyses of cancer incidence and mortality for a selected group of CS of national concern, beside Bor, based on a characterization of their main sources of contamination and possibly key pollutants.


  • Action: WHO to prepare a list of questions/analyses/data requests for IPHS to continue working with the data from the cancer register and other databases;


Notes taken by

Branislava Matić Savićević