The Environmental Legal Clinics Programme, organized by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Aarhus Centre Sarajevo, concluded today in Sarajevo. Twenty students from the universities of Sarajevo and Istočno Sarajevo were awarded certificates for their participation.
From September to December 2019, law students from the two universities had the opportunity to enhance their knowledge on environmental law, through a combination of expert-led lectures and workshops focusing on the Aarhus Convention and its application in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
“Strengthening legal expertise on the environment is vital to addressing serious issues, including toxic air pollution, poor waste management and illegal construction, as well as for strengthening access to justice and ultimately for building a safe and sustainable future for all BiH citizens,” said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I am proud to award certificates to BiH’s future lawyers, certain that they will continue to further enhance their knowledge and skills on this essential topic and contribute to improving the quality of life, health, and security of the people of this country.”
After the completion of the project, successful students will have a chance to apply for volunteer opportunities with the Aarhus Centre Sarajevo to gain further practical experience on environmental cases and to give back to the local community.
“Environmental lawyers are a true ray of hope at a time when pollution and devastation of the environment and natural resources are threatening the very survival of human civilization,” said Emina Veljović, Executive Director of Aarhus Centre Sarajevo. “That is why the Aarhus Centre advocates for the introduction and strengthening of environmental law studies at universities in BiH. The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the City of Sarajevo have recognized the value of this initiative, and, with their support, we have educated a new generation of young lawyers, in the hope that this knowledge will inspire them to launch their initiatives for the benefit of all citizens in BiH.”
Sunčica Kovačević, a Law student at the University of Istočno Sarajevo, said: “The Environmental Legal Clinic, as one of the best extracurricular activities I have undertaken, offered us an opportunity to gain knowledge on Environmental Law, through interactive workshops and the ideal ratio of theory and practice. This precious experience will shape my future engagement as a lawyer, but also as an environmentally conscious citizen.”
The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to support the Aarhus Centres in BiH in implementing activities aimed at promoting and strengthening both access to justice and environmental protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina.