The declaration “Municipality without dams” was signed today by Vedran Markotić, acting mayor of Ljubuški, pledging not to issue any concession, permit or recommendation for the construction of a dam or hydropower plant on the territory of this municipality without consulting citizens. The town of Ljubuški is the first unit of local self-government in the Federation of BiH, that signed the declaration “Municipalities without dams” and the third in BiH.
“The signing of the declaration is another step in the direction in showing that we as a local community are not ready to sacrifice our Trebižat and the future of our children for anyone’s profit and interests, especially for the interests of private investors, with due respect to all investors who are well-meaning and care for sustainable development.” said Markotić.
He emphasized the importance of the Trebižat River for the town of Ljubuški and its neighbourhood, saying that the people of Ljubuški will always be in its protection. “Trebižat is the vein of our homeland, we were all raised on this river and there must not be calculations or compromises when it comes to protecting Trebižat. I think that Ljubuški as a town, must base it’s development on agriculture and tourism, and those two can never go in the same sentence as mini hydropower plants” said Markotić, adding that by signing this declaration, the town has clearly expressed it’s position on this topic, which has been the same in the past.
The signing of the declaration “Municipalities without dams” was attended by Dragan Skenderija, coordinator of the Coalition for River Protection of BiH, Viktor Bjelic, vice president of the Centre for Environment, Tihomir Kvesić, president of the Ljubuški council, Krešo Paradžik, president of the Association of Sport Fishermen ”Kravica” Ljubuški, Tomislav Miličević member of the sports, diving, and ecological club ”Vidra” Ljubuški, and Stanko Zlopaša and Stanislava Borovac from the association ”Tajna prirode” from Čapljina.
Dragana Skenderija, coordinator of the Coalition for River Protection of BiH, welcomed the accession of this town to the declaration and pointed out that the support of the authorities is crucial in the fight to preserve the rivers of BiH.
“For all river keepers and local community residents who are standing up against harmful projects of small hydropower plants, it is encouraging when they receive support from the authorities in their municipalities. The town of Ljubuški has given its vote for the preservation of valuable river resources in this area. We welcome this decision and hope that the declaration will be signed by other municipalities in BiH. “
Viktor Bjelić from the Centre for the Environment, an organisation that is one of the founders of the Coalition for River Protection of BiH, reminded that over 440 small hydropower plants are currently planned in BiH.
“This would disrupt all watercourses, and the total production of electricity from all these facilities together would be minor, in fact less than 3% of the total electricity production that BiH achieves today.”