At the 222nd regular session, held on May 12th, 2020, the Government of the Federation of B&H adopted a Conclusion of the information of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism (FMOiT), which refers to the problem of expansive construction of small hydropower plants in B&H.Enter intro text
With this Conclusion, the Government of FB&H accepted the recommendations and conclusions set out in the Declaration on the Protection of Rivers of the Western Balkans, prepared by NGOs from B&H and surrounding countries on November 28th, 2019, during the International Conference with the financial support of the European Union, Transition Promotion Program of the Czech Republic, the Global Greengrants Fund and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
“The Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of B&H submitted many comments on the “Catalog of Criteria for Sustainable Development in the Small Hydropower Sector,” the application of which should be binding on FB&H authorities when issuing permits for SHPPs, as stated in the Conclusion of the FB&H Government. But these comments were not taken into account in the final text of the Catalog by the developers. We expect that during the work of the Working Group for preparation of instructions for the use of the Catalog, these comments will be duly considered and accepted;” said Viktor Bjelić, Vice president of the Center for the Environment. He explains that the real situation on the ground shows that the current conditions from environmental permits are not respected. «We have no choice but to continue to monitor the situation and insist on the urgent adoption of a moratorium and the abolition of incentives for SHPPs».
In addition, the Government instructed forming of another Working group that will prepare a proposal to amend the law or bylaw which will precisely define the obligations of both investors, or SHPP operators, and competent institutions to ensure continuous monitoring of compliance with environmentally acceptable flow in accordance with the issued permits.
We remind, that more than 400 hydroelectric power plants are planned in B&H, of which about a hundred have been built, which for most of the operating year leave the riverbeds almost completely dry, because the measures for discharging environmentally acceptable flow are not respected.