”The Parliament of the Federation sends a strong message to all seeking to destroy rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina – small hydro is dangerous, unnecessary, and comes at a huge social, environmental and financial cost. The Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted the Declaration on the Protection of Rivers and voted for a complete ban on the construction of small hydropower plants (SHPP) in the Federation. This decision is the result of years of fighting for the preservation of rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Declaration signed at the end of 2019 by WWF Adria and numerous other civil society organizations. Over the next three months, the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has to analyze existing regulations and prepare a proposal for legislative amendments that will enable the implementation of this decision,” WWF Adria stated in the press release.
There are currently plans for the construction of more than 400 small hydropower plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and over 100 have already been built. In their raid on the rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, investors in small hydro are leaving behind devastated rivers and dry riverbeds causing significant financial losses to the society by taking advantage of subsidies for renewable energy production. Therefore, the Parliament’s decision will send a strong message to all those responsible for the uncontrolled expansion of small hydropower plants and the destruction of rivers. It is also a reflection of the public will, expressed through numerous initiatives for river protection and civil society organizations. For years, they have been warning the public about this problem and demanded all harmful projects be stopped.
The time has come to put an end to the destruction of public good and selfish interests, and the responsibility now lies with the Government of the Federation. It remains to be seen whether the National Assembly and the Government of Republika Srpska have the courage to follow the same path. It is certain, however, that the civil society will not fall silent until we win the fight for the last river.