BiH have some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Our forests and rivers are home to one of the most diverse collection of plants and animals in Europe.

However, our country is changing. As we grow, we are polluting the natural world around us and putting pressure on our resources, and as a result, putting at risk people’s health and livelihoods.

Are we prepared to take responsibility for the environmental problems we are creating? Can the citizens of BiH become real allies of nature?

Watch this film about some of the environmental problems that BiH is facing and about the new environmental strategy being developed for the country.

Film about the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Environmental Strategy

Just like Lana Pudar, Robert Dacesin, Mirela Lakovic and others are talking about in the film; Do you care about the Prenje alpine salamander, about the rivers of BiH, and in how we can reduce air pollution in our cities? After two years of development, BiH is on track to get its first Environmental Strategy and Action Plan. Read more below how you can get involved.

The new strategy is made available for you to comment and feedback on

This strategy are the result of a participatory process, in which a wide range of stakeholders have been involved in developing the draft. The next step is for it to be made available for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This represents a great opportunity for those interested in the environment to provide their feedback on the environmental policy agenda for the next decade in BiH. Don’t miss out on your chance to have your voice heard!

By getting involved, you can contribute to make the strategy more effective and more reflective of local needs and solutions.

The public consultations in Bosnia and Herzegovina have just started. Below you find the link to the public consultations in Federation of BiH, which opened last week and will last until the 30th of June. All information can be found on the websites of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Watershed and Forestry, giving further instructions on how to give input.

Also, the consultation process in the Brcko District is now open and lasts until July 16. You can find all the information on the website of the Department for Spatial Planning and Property Affairs of the Brčko District.

Public consultations in Republika Srpska will begin very soon. Keep yourself updated on our website: www.esap.ba

Want to know more of why you should get involved?

Public participation in environmental matters refers to the sharing by citizen or communities of their views on decisions-making processes regarding the environment, through mechanisms such as voting, participating in consultations, petitioning, and campaigning, among others. Public participation in environmental matters is an important part of a democratic society, and it helps improve the quality and effectiveness of environmental decision-making. Indeed, it can help identify environmental challenges and their solutions and enable policymakers to rely on valuable and unique local knowledge. It also raises the sense of ownership among citizens around policy developments, while increasing the legitimacy and public acceptance of decisions and thus reducing conflicts, and empowering citizens. It is especially important to have the inputs from people that tend to be more marginalized socially, so that their needs and proposed solutions can be taken into account.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Aarhus Centre has for a long time been promoting public participation in environmental policymaking. Indeed, BiH is part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. However, when it comes to public participation, improvements can be made, for instance in strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments in BiH.

How the strategy will aim to improve public participation

The ESAP for BiH recognises these challenges and proposes many ways to improve public participation in the next decade in BiH. For instance, public participation features in the Strategy at BiH level in several priority areas (such as biodiversity and chemicals), where regular consultations and cooperation with the civil sector are envisaged, including awareness-raising campaigns for citizens.

Moreover, the Strategy aims to improve the inclusion of citizens into decision-making about the environment, especially in the processes of environmental impact assessment and the issuing of environmental permits.

The interview was initially published on the Klix.ba portal on June 6, 2022.