Photo: Vera Knook

Center for Environment held meetings with representatives of the local communities of Gacko and Kalinovik, where activities carried out on the territory of these two municipalities within the project “Research and protection of the upper course of the Neretva River” were presented.

In both municipalities, the meeting was attended by representatives of local government, public companies and local associations and representatives of the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, who expressed their views on the project and its significance for these local communities.

“The Institute supports such initiatives in which non-governmental organizations, in cooperation with experts, conduct field research needed to prepare a protection study. We are especially pleased with the cooperation with the local community, and as the Institute we will provide all the necessary professional assistance, “said Dragan Kovacevic, head of the Department for the Protection of Natural Heritage at this institution.

The continuation of biological research is planned for this year, and at the same time we are working on the preparation of a study on the protection of this area which will define the values ​​of the area, propose categories and boundaries of protected areas, as well as protection measures.

Representatives of local communities expressed satisfaction with the progress in the protection process and clearly confirmed that they want this area to be under formal and permanent protection.

“The strategic commitment of the municipality of Kalinovik is the protection of this area, which is included in the Draft Strategy for the Development of the Municipality.” I hope that together we will succeed in our intentions to protect the Neretva River and prevent the construction of planned system of small power plants, for the common good, “said Đorđe Sladoje, Deputy Mayor of Kalinovik.

Jelena Ivanić, vice president of Center for Environment, pointed out that the results of previous field biological research have shown that this is a preserved area and very valuable.

“It is clear that formal protection is necessary in order to preserve cultural, historical and natural values ​​and prevent the destruction by the planned construction of seven small hydropower plants.”

Representatives of the municipality of Gacko also gave their support to this initiative.

“We will become richer for a new attractive tourist location, which we will promote and use sustainably when it comes to protection,” said Sanja Rudović from the Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Gacko.

During the biological research conducted so far in the area of ​​the upper Neretva, the existence of at least 85 species of birds, the presence of five species of large mammals: bear, wolf, chamois, roe deer and wild boar. The assumption of the scientists is that the lynx occasionally stays in this area. Research has shown that the area is inhabited by at least 18 species of small mammals and 17 species of amphibians and reptiles. Many of these species are on the domestic and international lists of protected and strictly protected species, which gives this area special importance.

Untouched nature is becoming a rarity that we need to preserve for future generations, and not view it as a resource that will be destroyed and used for the short-term enrichment of today’s tycoons.

The upper reaches of the Neretva are indeed the remaining part of untouched nature with a great wealth of biodiversity in the river basin whose hydro potential has already been significantly exploited. After all, in the language of the ancient Celts, Neretva (Nera-Etwa) means divine river, or flowing deity.

Why is it important to protect this lifeblood of Herzegovina from planned harmful projects? How would the implementation of these projects affect the people and biodiversity of this area? You can find the answers to these and many other questions in the short film “Protection of the Divine River”.

This project is implemented with the support of the international organization for nature protection and the environment – The Nature Conservancy.

There is no ongoing projects in "Arhus centar" programme at the moment.

There is no ongoing projects in "Our space" programme at the moment.

Besides projects defined by programmes, Center for environment is actively working on other topics in the field of environment and on networking with other organizations at the regional and international level. In the section "Other Projects" we are presenting projects which are not related to the specific program.

Ongoing project and activities Completed projects and activities

There is no ongoing projects in "Arhus centar" programme at the moment.

There is no ongoing projects in "Our space" programme at the moment.

Besides projects defined by programmes, Center for environment is actively working on other topics in the field of environment and on networking with other organizations at the regional and international level. In the section "Other Projects" we are presenting projects which are not related to the specific program.

Ongoing project and activities Completed projects and activities

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