The Center for Environment and the Society for Research and Protection of Biodiversity have appealed to the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to introduce stricter control of off-roading through forests, often in protected areas, due to the destructive impact on the nature of these extremely sensitive ecosystems.
The initiative related to off-roading will be sent to the relevant authorities, as well as to the national parks of BiH, according to a press release from the Center for Environment.
According to the rulebook regulating activities in national parks of Republika Srpska, an entity of BiH, driving motor vehicles is prohibited off the existing roads, while according to the Nature Protection Law, state authorities, local municipalities, and other organizations and institutions, as well as all legal entities and individuals are obliged to act in accordance with the principles, goals, measures, and conditions of the protection and sustainable preservation of nature, the press release reads.
Draško Adamović of the Society for Research and Protection of Biodiversity said that off-roading causes noise, disrupts habitats, and usurps flora and fauna, while releasing harmful oils and emissions, which are indisputably endangering biodiversity.
Such activities must be organized in accordance with the degree of protection of the site, including oversight and practical protection of the area, as well as compliance with the legal provisions and regulations on the protection of natural heritage, which is at a very low level, Adamović said.
Iva Miljević, coordinator of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Program at the Center for Environment, said that regulations clearly call for nature conservation and prohibit activities harmful to nature.
In the case of nature conservation, it is not just about protected areas, which are often protected only on paper, but about all the natural values of BiH that are disturbed and neglected, she added.
Organizations are appealing to the relevant institutions to introduce more severe controls of how off-roading is organized, especially in protected areas where flora and fauna require a special level of protection, Miljević said.