On the occasion of February 2, the Worlds Wetlands Day, we warn of the importance and the need to preserve the wetlands as very specific and valuable areas. We have only three such habitats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the most fascinating areas of this type and currently the most endangered is Bardača, a complex that once had 11 ponds in the municipalities of Srbac and Gradiška.
The Center for Environment and Society for Research and Protection of Biodiversity on this day want to present their view that Bardača can return the old glory if there is an approach to revitalization and designating the protection.
Jovica Sjeničić, Society for the Protection and Research of Biodiversity: “Currently, there are not so many species of birds that are related to the water and coastal zone and have the conditions for nesting on Bardača. We can find only few species of wild ducks in a smaller number, swans, divers and there are the species that we can spot on almost every watered area in BH. So, there is almost no reason that makes Bardača internationally important wetland habitat. However, Bardača's revival is still possible by establishing cooperation, sustainable supply of water ponds and re-launching fisheries production.”
Already for a few years, we have been advocating for competent institutions to seriously address the issue of managing this area. These two organizations plan to restart the legal protection process of Bardača at Republika Srpska entity level.
Viktor Bjelić, Center for the Environment: “In the period of 2012, on our initiative, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republic of Srpska started the process of proclaiming the previous protection of the area, and by the end of 2017 brings the conclusion on the abolition of the proclamation process. We believe that in this process the ministry should invest more energy and not give up on Bardača. This is proof that the competent institutions have no power and influence to preserve the only international wetland habitat we have. We will not give up on Bardača and soon we will launch a new initiative to designate it as a protected area.”
In 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified the Convention on Wetlands which are of international importance, especially as habitats of swamp birds, which is also known as the Ramsar Convention. Since then, three humid habitats in BiH have been proclaimed under this convention: Bardača, Hutovo blato and Livanjsko polje, of which only the Hutovo blato Nature Park has protected status.