At a press conference held at hotel Bosna in Banja Luka, representatives of environmental organizations called on the Government of the Republic of Srpska to meaningfully protect Sutjeska National Park, threatened by planned hydropower plants.
On September 15th, representatives of Friends of the Earth Europe –Pro Natura / Friends of the Earth Switzerland, Centar za životnu sredinu / Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Green Action / Friends of the Earth Croatia, called on the entity authorities to cancel the concession permanently, after projects were halted.
“Yesterday we delivered a citizens’ initiative to the National Assembly. With this press conference we want to strengthen our battle and show that we have great support from our European partners. We believe that the unification of our knowledge, experience and willingness to preserve nature will succeed in influencing public policies, individuals and the direction in which countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina are heading; countries rich in nature but which are basing their development on environmental destruction,” said Nataša Crnković from Centar za životnu sredinu, Green Action reported on its website
Bertrand Sansonnens from Pro Natura said the organization supports bringing clear scientific evidence of the park’s importance, and joins the fight for nature. Balkan rivers are unique and irreplaceable ecosystems, under huge pressure from hydro plans in the region, said Jagoda Munić from Green Action. “We have seen in cases from Croatia how these projects are often linked to corruption and unfair resource distribution, and the impact this has on local communities. For all of us in the Balkans, rivers are a common good that unite us, and which we should protect together,” she added.