The European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) in the very center of a region environmentally characterized by contaminated rivers, polluted air and by the war devastated area, could not neglect warnings extended by the Club of Rome or the Rio de Janeiro Conference regarding environmental and sustainable development issues.
Therefore in all of its activities – be it research education or consultative meetings – treating of a well defined Southeastern European region of the Balkans, the ECPD has in mind and traces the ways to establish "links" between environment, peace and development. The closely netted interdependence of these issues and the paths to resolve them, which have in the past been treated separately, are to be materialized by an interdisciplinary integrated approach to the challenge of sustainable development.
Based upon this approach, the ECPD launched its research and educational projects on the environmental and sustainable development with the aims to contribute to the environmental protection and to stimulate the integral and sustainable development within the Balkan area.
By its scope and character, the project is a regional one. However, it could be (and is being) realized by separate local or sub-regional projects. In that respect, the ECPD promoted two very significant projects, that is:
· Development Trend of Montenegro as an Ecological State, and
· Strategy of Far-reaching Sustainable Development of the Novi Pazar area.
The research project "Development trends of Montenegro as and Ecological State" was carried out at the request of and financed by the Government of Montenegro. Its elaboration was managed by an ECPD International Project Council consisting of 15 members – six from Serbia and Montenegro and nine from other countries and international organizations. In the project elaboration about 50 scientists and researchers were engaged.
The project has been finalized and delivered to the client in five separate "interim reports" and one Final Report. An Action program and Reduced study were made up also.
Recently, on December 2002, the European Center for Peace and Development undertook elaboration of the research project "Strategy of the Far – Reaching Sustainable Development of the Novi Pazar Area" in accordance with the needs and request of the Novi Pazar Municipality Assemble.
The research project realization included inter alia, definition of the key elements, which determine the long-term sustainable development of the Novi Pazar area; finding out the ways of further democratization of the society; improvement of the living standard and quality of life; better environment protection and the like.
The European Center for Peace and Development is preparing similar projects to be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and some other Balkan countries.