The Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology covers all aspects of the problems of sustainable development and ecology.

developing a scientific NETWORK in Balkan area


Balkan Environmental Association (B.EN.A) is an international nongovernmental scientific organization tasked with preserving the environment and culture of Balkan countries. Nowadays our association have more 4,000 active members. The organization is aimed at developing the cooperation and the exchange of environmental information among its members in as well as identifying and appraising the current problems of environmental protection on a national, regional and international basis.

About B.EN.A.

Environmental problems require immediate action and sustainable long-term strategies. To this end, in 1998 fifty scientists from Balkan countries formed the Balkan Environmental Association - B.EN.A ( as an international nonprofit and nongovernmental scientific organization tasked with preserving the environment and culture of Balkan countries. B.EN.A.’s members work to develop international collaborations aimed at reducing transboundary air and water pollution. B.EN.A. thus serves as a Balkan “think tank”, working to:

-          analyze interactions between environmental, economic and community trends;

-          establish scientific ways for environmental protection;

-          promote strategies and institutional changes to improve environmental and natural resources support environmental decision making processes through objective and independent scientific research, studies and professional training,  ultimately;

-          improve people’s lives.

The primary scopes of B.EN.A. are:

·      To examine and appraise the current problems of environmental protection on a regional, national and international basis;

·      To advise the regulatory bodies of the various Balkan countries about decisions concerning the evaluation of the risk of chemicals and physical agents;

·      To develop international cooperation on reducing transboundary pollution which will affects public health.

·      To develop strategies and options for the environmental protection;

·      To develop the environmental quality management systems for the Balkan region.

·      To develop international programs for the restoration and the sustainable improvement of the ecological safety of cross-border regions. 

·      To plan and organize scientifically events and other activities on environmental issues.


B.EN.A’s specialists are involved in the study of pollution (air, water, soil, agricultural, industrial); ecology; risk assessment; waste management; radioactivity; clean technologies; environmental education, environmental legislation, management and informatics; health impact and computer application to environmental issues.


The International Bureau of B.EN.A. is located in Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki/Greece. In each country from Balkan region were established the “National Bureaus of B.EN.A.” based on Academic Institutions and form an environmental scientific network, as follow:


 AL-B.EN.A., University of  Tirana, Albania

 BG-B.EN.A., Agricultural University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria

 BiH-B.EN.A., University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 CR-B.EN.A., University of Zagreb, Croatia

 FY-B.EN.A., Institute of Public Health, Skopje, FYR Macedonia

 MONTE-B.EN.A., University of Podgorica, Montenegro

 RO-B.EN.A., National Institute for Research and Development of  Industrial Ecology (ECOIND) in Bucharest, Romania

 RS-B.EN.A., VINCA Institute of Nuclear Sciences of Belgrade, Serbia

 TU-B.EN.A., Trakya University of  Edirne, Liaison Office in Namik  Kemal  University of  Tekirdag,Turkey.



The “Liaison Offices” have the mission to partner to help conserve, improve and sustain natural resources and the environment and are in a position to identify emerging environmental issues, in particular:


 Liaison Office of Ukraine, in the Ukrainian Scientific Center

              of the Ecology of Seas (UkrCES) in Odessa, Ukraine.


 Liaison Office of Russian Federation, in the National

              Research Institute of the Azov Sea Fishery Problems (NRIASF),

              in Rostov on Don, Russian Federation.


      Liaison Office of Georgia, in Technical University of Tbilisi,



 Liaison Office of Central Europe, Faculty of Natural

               Sciences, Viterbo University, Italy.


         For a better coordination of B.EN.A. activities were proposed the functioning of the International Centers or Offices, on different environmental topics:


-    International Research Secretariat of S.E. Europe (I.S.S.E.), in the National Institute of Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” (NIMRD) Constanta/Romania

-     International Centre of Environmental Protection and Food Quality Control, in “1 Decembrie 1918“ University of Alba Iulia, Romania

-    International Office of Agricultural Protection and its Impact on the Food Chain, in the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences “Gheorghe Ionescu-Sisesti”, Bucharest, Romania

-     Liaison Office: Faculty of Food Sciences and Technology,  Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Romania

-    International Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture, in the Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Varna (IFA), Bulgaria

-    International Centre for Ecological Management of Wetlands and Protected Areas, in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Agriculture,  “Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania

-    Eastern Center of Urban Pollution Management and its Impact to the Cultural    Heritage, in National Institute for Research and Development of Industrial Ecology (ECOIND), Bucharest, Romania

-    International Center of Radioactivity Measurements in S.E. Europe and Advisory Body for Physics, Physico-Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Nuclear, Fossil and Renewable Sources, in VINCA – Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia

-    International Centre of Environmental Medicine, in the Republic Institute for Health Protection, Skopje, FYR of Macedonia

-    International Center of Soil Pollution and Soil Restoration and its Management, in “N. Poushkarov” Institute of Soil Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria

-    International Center of Water Quality and sediment control of Danube, in Uzlina, Danube Delta (Romania). It has been established with instrumentation offered by TUBORG Romania

-    International Office of Natural Sciences, in the Natural Sciences Museum Complex – Dolphinarium, Constanta, Romania

-    International Centre of Chemical Application and its Impact to Life and Environment, Faculty of Chemistry University of Belgrade, Serbia

-    International Office of Environmental Education, in University of Craiova, Romania

-    International Office of Renewable Energy, Biofuels, Clean Technologies, Global Meteorological and Climatological Changes, in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Timisoara, Romania.




In Balkan region, B.EN.A. is collaborating with private companies as: TUBORG ROMANIA, TITAN S.A., COSMOTE ROMANIA, PIRAEUS BANK, TOMINI TRADING, DELTA-NESTLE, PROCTER & GAMBLE, CARLSBERG Bulgaria, CARLSBERG Serbia and CARLSBERG Croatia for funding research projects and scholarships for young scientists; since 2001 until today B.EN.A. supported 147 research projects and 263 scholarships.

The Calls were developed in the following environmental topics: pollution control in environmental media for hot point’s identification, new methods/techniques development in relation with international requirements; environmental impact/risk assessment for identification of areas, where pollution abatement, clean production or ecological reconstruction are required; environmental technologies (drinking water, waste water, wastes); training and consulting for EMS (ISO 14001) and QMS (EN 45001) development and implementation for certification/ accreditation etc.


B.EN.A. is running TRAINING CENTERS on ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONS for specialists and unemployed people, in order to improve their professional status and to update their knowledge on modern environment management, in order to face the job market demands.

The Training Centers were funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hellenic Republic (Department of International Development and Co-operation-HELLENIC AID) in 2002 and were running for two years program, having the great impact and success in the region.

B.ENA. continues its efforts for the sustaining training activity on environmental professions with the support of private companies like: TITAN S.A., CARPATCEMENT Heidelberg Cement Group, BANCPOST Romania, TOMINI TRADING SRL, PROCTER & GAMBLE, BALKAN MINERAL and MINING. During 2002-2009 more than 1400 persons graduated the courses on environmental professions in Constanta, Bucharest, Plovdiv, Varna, Skopje and Belgrade. The Training Centers are functioning as follow:

1.  Training Center on „Environmental management” specialization  in the National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” Constanta, ROMANIA.

2.  Training Center on “Eco-agro-tourism and organic agriculture”, located in the Agricultural University of Plovdiv, BULGARIA.

3.  Training Center  on “Public Health Impact” specialization, in the Faculty of Medicine, Skopje, FYR of Macedonia.

4.  Training Courses in “Sustainable Fishery” specialization running in the in National Institute of Fishery and Aquaculture (IFA) in Varna, BULGARIA.

5.  Training Courses on “Sustainable Development in the frame of EU legislation Harmonization”, in the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Belgrade, SERBIA.

          Recently, B.EN.A. became member of the International  SKILLSnet of CEDEFOP – European Union Center for the Development of Vocational Education and Training.



The results of B.EN.A’ research can be found in the Environmental Protection and Ecology (JEPE), which is starting to serve as a digital library for environmental issues. B.EN.A. publishing the 11th volume starting 2000.



Since 2007 J.E.P.E. is in Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) by THOMSON Scientific, ELSEVIER Abstracts: GEObase, EMBiology, SCOPUS and ULRICH Database. 

 2.4.     Current studies and future steps

Starting January 2009 B.EN.A. is Task leader of Working Package 7 in the frame of  the International Research Project supported by the 7th Framework Program of European Commission UPGRADE BLACK SEA SCENE (2009-2011).  The basis of the project is formed by the FP6 Research Infrastructure “Black Sea SCENE” (Black Sea Scientific Network) which started 1st December 2005 and ended 30th November 2008.  The later project established a scientific network of leading environmental and socio-economic research institutes, universities and NGO’s from the countries around the Black Sea.

The infrastructure is populated and maintained by the organizations and aims at improving the identification, access, exchange, quality indication and use of their data and information about the Black Sea.

The present project expands the existing Black Sea Scientific Network with 19 additional marine environmental institutes and universities from the six countries around the Black Sea coastal state. The new partners will become well acquainted with European guidelines and directives, such as European Water Framework Directive. Finally existing national Data Quality Control methods of all data centres will be analyzed and compared with European quality methods, guidelines and practices.


The existing Black Sea Scientific Network mobilized a large number of leading environmental and socio-economic research institutes and universities from the countries around the Black Sea. This will result in a research infrastructure with an improved regional coverage and broader inclusion of marine disciplines, bringing together and supporting 51 partners from Bulgaria (7), Georgia (6), Romania (3), Russian Federation (8), Turkey (7), Ukraine (10) together with 7 partners from EU member states, one associated state and two international associations/bodies



B.EN.A.’s next step is to activate the Balkan Local Authority   

Environmental Network (BLAEN), which will be based on regional cooperation and substantial support for a clean and healthy community environment. Up today BLAENs members are the Municipalities of Albania, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.



Till today B.EN.A. organized and co-organized more than 70 scientific events on different environmental topics in Greece, Romania Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia.


In 2011:

·         3rdInternational Symposium on “ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AND  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”, organizing by “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia and B.EN.A., 26th – 27th May 2011, Alba Iulia, Romania

·         International Conference on: ENVIRONEMNTAL CAPACITY BUILDING – ECB 2011, organizing by B.EN.A., Romanian Academy,    European Center of Excellence for the Environment – „Dunarea de Jos” University of Galati, “Dimitrie Gusti” Village Museum of Bucharest, 11-13 November 2011, Bucharest, Romania


In 2010:

·         The 45th National Congres and 5th International Congres on Agriculture,  organized by the University of Osiejk and University of Zagreb and co-organized by BENA, Opatija/Croatia, 15-19 February 2010,

·         International Workshop “Fishery and Aquaculture – A View Point upon the Sustainable Management of the Water Resources in Balkan Area, organized by the University "Dunarea de Jos" of Galati - Faculty of Food Science and Engineering in collaboration with  Balkan Environmental Association B.EN.A., Romanian Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Research-Development Institute for Aquatic Ecology, Fishery and Aquaculture Galati, 26-28 May 2010, Galati/Romania

·         International Workshop „GLOBAL AND REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION” organized by Polytehnic University of and B.EN.A.,  26-28 November 2010, Timisoara/Romania,

in 2009:

·         International Workshop on “Environmental, Nutrition, Health Relationship in the frame of EU Policy”, in Galati, ROMANIA, co-organized by B.EN.A.,  Romanian Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, University “Dunarea de Jos” - Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary (USAMV), Institute of Food Bioresources, January 16-17, 2009

·         4th International Congress on Agriculture Opatija, Croatia    organized by the Universities of Zagreb and Osijek and B.EN.A., February 16-21, 2009

·         3rd International Conference on “Life Quality and Capacity Building in the frame of a Safe Environment”, organized by B.EN.A. and the Municipality of Katerini, Prefecture of Pieria, GREECE, March 17-20, 2009

·         2nd International Symposium on “Management and Sustainable protection of Environment” organized by “1st December 1918” University of ALBA- IULIA and B.EN.A., May 6-7, 2009

·         International Symposium on “Sustainable Development in Southeast Europe” organized by B.EN.A., Namik Kemal University, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Turkey, June 17-20, 2009

·         2nd International Symposium on “Impact of Environmental Pollution on Public Health” organized by B.EN.A. and Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania,15-18 July 2009

·         International Symposium on “Pollution management and Environmental Protection" organized by B.EN.A. and University of Tirana, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Albania, 16-20 September 2009

·         International Symposium “The Environment and Industry” organized by the National Institute for Industrial Ecology ECOIND Bucharest, Romanian Society for Chemistry and co-organized by B.EN.A., 28-30 October 2009

·         2nd workshop FP7 – Upgrade Black Sea Scene – organized by B.EN.A. in Bucharest, Romania, 1-6 November 2009

·         International Workshop and Round table: "Planning for sustainable development and implementation of strategies for the protection of wetlands, lakes and protected areas along the Black Sea Coast“, 22-23 July 2008 organized by BENA, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (USA), “Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania.


The symposia were organized by B.EN.A. with the support of public authorithies: Katerni Municipality,  Pieria Prefecture, Preveza Municipality, Chalkidiki Prefecture,  Constanta Municipality, Constanta County Council, Tulcea Municipality, Tulcea County Council, Alba Iulia Municipality, Sebes Municipality, Belgrade Municipality, Rakovica Municipality,  Ministry of Environment and Forests of Turkey, ISKI Istanbul, Namik Kemal University of Tekirdag, “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, “Dunarea de Jos” University of Galati, Transilvania University of Brasov, Politehnic University of  Timisoara, University of Zagreb, University of Osiejk/Croatia, ATEI Thessaloniki, University of Ioanina, Greece, University of Belgrade, University of Tirana, National Institute for Industrial Ecology – ECOIND Bucharest and private companies: TOMINI TRADING, TITAN Romania, CARLSBERG Serbia, COSMOTE Romania, ACDPI, ALPHA BANK Romania, PIRAEUS BANK,  TURKISH CHEMICAL  MANUFACTURER ASSOCIATION etc.



Environmental education have been once more recognized as a very powerful tool for the appropriate ecological knowledge’s of the coming generations and not only, is the key factor for the tomorrow, active citizens.

Therefore, B.EN.A. put all efforts to introduce the environmental principles and concept to the young people and especially to pupils. The “feedback” from these actions was very impressive and promising for better environment for the future. In fact the “kids are only sure quality for the future of this planet”.


Contact persons:


Prof.dr. Fokion Vosniakos,

President of B.EN.A. International

Balkan Environmental Association (B.EN.A.)

Alexander Technological Education Institute of Thessaloniki

P.O. Box 141, 57400-Sindos, Thessaloniki, Greece



Drd. Mariana Golumbeanu, MSc

International Research Secretariat of B.EN.A.

National Institute of Marine Research and Development (NIMRD)

 “Grigore Antipa”, 300  Mamaia Bd., 900581 Constanta, Romania