The state of nature in a transition country, the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prof. dr. Dalibor Ballian, University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Forestry

The primeval nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina, rich in numerous endemics, is rapidly disappearing, whether it is mountain, hill or meadow ecosystems. Watercourses, mountain lakes and ponds are especially endangered, which are already on the verge of disappearing.
So 20 years ago we had the chaotic construction of small hydroelectric plants, which sprouted like mushrooms after the rain on mountain rivers and streams. We thought it would stop soon, unfortunately they are still under construction. After their construction and commissioning, the desert remained, the living world of those rivers and streams disappeared, and the surrounding forests suffer because of the changed water regime. After that, 10 years ago, solar power plants started slowly, and since there are few favorable areas for their construction, numerous forest areas are being cleared. This is how our natural forests are disappearing. This did not stop the devastation, there are still numerous mines and quarries, and the areas under industrial deserts are getting bigger every year. Also, when thermal power plants are analyzed among the five that are the biggest polluters, three are from my country. That is very sad. Unfortunately, it does not end there, because we also have a wild urbanization of nature with no end in sight. Numerous settlements without basic communal infrastructure are being built on the mountains. This also destroys primeval nature and numerous very sensitive ecosystems, and there are many examples.
When we come to our senses one day, I’m afraid it will be too late for any restoration and restoration. Today we still have a chance, but how can we convince uneducated corrupt politicians and their sponsors that nature should be preserved for generations to come.

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