The BiH ESAP 2030+ will help protect the environment, provide a critical tool for relevant authorities to achieve environmental sustainability, improve citizen health and contribute to BiH’s EU membership aspirations. During the months of February and March 2022, government representatives of BiH have shared with us their messages on why the BiH ESAP2030+ is so important for BiH. We had the possibility to talk to Nada Ljubojević, Senior Associate for environment protection at the Department for Spatial Planning and Property Affairs in Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

How will BiH ESAP 2030+ help relevant BiH institutions in achieving environmental sustainability and improving the health and well-being of current and future generations of citizens in BiH?

Every person has the right to live in a healthy and environmentally friendly environment and has the duty to protect and preserve the environment.

The Environmental Strategy and Action Plan 2030+ contains goals and measures for the upcoming period of 10 years. Implementing the measures set out in the action plan will help the competent institutions to contribute to the improvement of the health of current and future generations in BiH.

BiH ESAP 2030+ will respect the relationship between gender equality, social equity, and poverty (GESEP). In your opinion, how will this bring additional benefits to the Strategy and Action Plan?

For the first time in the development of strategic documents, the interaction between the environment and issues related to gender equality, social equity, and poverty in BiH was enabled, so it is to be expected that the implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan will bring benefits to these categories of society.

Nada Ljubojević, Senior Associate, Environment Protection in the Department for Spatial Planning and Property Affairs, Brčko District (BD)

In the current process of drafting the BiH ESAP 2030+ document, priorities have been set in terms of objectives and measures. What goals and measures are defined as priorities in the BD?

When it comes to priorities in terms of goals and measures, I would put in the first place the strengthening of human and institutional capacity in the field of environment in the Brčko District of BiH. This is unavoidable, given that the Environmental Strategy and Action Plan contains 7 thematic units, which in addition to the Department of Spatial Planning and Property Legal Affairs (as the competent department of environmental protection) requires the involvement of other government departments that are crucial in preparation of this document and implementation of measures to be defined by the action plan. The focus topics are related to waste management (i.e., construction of waste management centre), water management and protection (i.e., construction of wastewater treatment system), nature protection, air protection-establishment of environment segment pollution monitoring, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, land protection, chemicals management, forest management as well as noise and vibration in the environment.

The second priority would be the development of new or amendments to existing laws and bylaws in the field of environment.

Is the awareness of citizens about the environment sufficiently developed and is there any progress in the involvement of BD citizens in environmental issues?

When it comes to environmental awareness, it is difficult to determine the level of awareness at this time. Of course, citizens want a healthy and clean environment, but for that to happen, we must all participate and contribute to its preservation in a way that respects environmental laws and that the inspections are effective. Therefore, the importance of environmental protection for the benefit of present and future generations should be continuously promoted, and this is possible only with strict compliance with legal provisions in the field of environment and that everyone in their environment and scope of work contributes to environmental protection from preschool to the oldest population.

BiH is rich in numerous tourist destinations. What is your favourite that you would recommend to our readers and why?

Bosnia and Herzegovina abounds in numerous tourist destinations, but one of them is the city of the sun and many natural, cultural and historical values – Trebinje. The geographical position of this city is such that it is only 20 km away from the sea. There is also the Orjen mountain and certainly you can’t miss the planetree canopies that are about 120 years old.

The interview was published on the portal on March 11, 2022.