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Bosnia and Herzegovina has been ordered to stop ore exploitation in Vareš

The Secretariat of the Berne Convention at the Council of Europe ordered the competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to stop the exploitation of ores in Vareš until the facts presented in her lawsuit by Hajrija Čobo, an environmental activist from Kakanj, are clarified.

The Secretariat also regretted the lack of an official response from the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is a signatory to the Berne Convention, a key agreement dedicated to the protection of plant and animal species and the preservation of their natural habitats.

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The Secretariat expresses serious concern about the problems presented by the plaintiff in relation to the mining activities of the Adriatic Metals company in Vares, which potentially leads to the loss of species, habitat degradation, air, water and soil pollution and generally harmful consequences for the ecosystem. Concern was also expressed about the lack of public participation in the decision-making process, especially when it comes to the local population. Both parties, and especially the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been requested to deliver updated reports on these issues for the upcoming meeting of the Secretariat in the spring of 2024.

With this decision, it was confirmed that the legal proceedings against Bosnia and Herzegovina continue after the Secretariat of the Berne Convention at the end of last year fully accepted the lawsuit of concerned citizens from Kakanj gathered in the informal group Trstionica and Boriva Nature Park.

In the aforementioned lawsuit, it was pointed out that by issuing a concession for the exploitation of heavy metals in an extremely valuable and biologically diverse, but at the same time sensitive area, Bosnia and Herzegovina violated the provisions of the Berne Convention and thus seriously threatened the survival of rare and strictly protected plant and animal species.

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