June 5 is marked by the United Nations as World Environment Day, a day set aside since 1974 to promote “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.” This year’s theme was “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
On the occasion of World Environment Day celebration, CENER21 in cooperation with United Nations Environment Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized two important events that gathered more than 100 participants in Tarčin Forest Resort Center.
On June 5, 2018, Second Protected Area Managers’ Day was organised in a beautiful natural environment of the Tarčin forest. 19 managers of protected areas from BiH had a chance to present their successes, challenges as well as future plans for an effective management of their areas.
Protected Area Managers’ Day is a response to an increasing need of improved communication and cooperation of protected area managers in order to address current challenges related to nature protection in BiH. Last year, the Protected Area Managers’ Day was organized for the first time in BiH in beautiful city of Trebinje. The event was evaluated as very successful with big potential to become a traditional annual gathering of protected area managers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The gathering of managers under umbrella of Protected Area Managers’ Day is initiated by UNEP in the framework of the project Achieving biodiversity conservation through creation, effective management and spatial designation of protected areas and capacity building in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The event was opened by a welcoming speech of Mrs. Amina Omičević, UNEP representative in BiH and project manager. Mrs. Amina Omičević expressed her gratitude to all participants for coming to the event and confirming with their presence that this gathering should become a traditional gathering in the years to come.
H.E. Edita Đapo, lady minister in Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, warned about the global plastic pollution issue, but also about the challenges that BiH together with its protected areas is facing due to plastic waste pollution.
Mr. Hamdo Ejubović, major of the Municipality Hadžići, expressed support for the project willingness of municipality to cooperate with UNEP and CENER21 in the process of enlargement of protected areas in BiH. He emphasized the importance of the local community involvement in the decision making process when it comes to establishment of new protected areas.
Ms. Adla Kahrić, representative of NGO Sharklab ADRIA, gave presentation about plastic pollution of the sea in BiH. She warned about the alarming results of her research in Neum marine area, highlighting the importance of solving marine litter problem that have negative impact on rare and endemic species of coastal and marine flora and fauna in Neum. Klek peninsula in Neum is the project pilot area planned for official protection as botanic-floristic reserve Mediranetum.
Dr Irem Silajdžić, a senior environmental expert from CENER21, gave short presentation about solid waste management facts for Bosnia and Herzegovina with focus on generation, recycling and disposal of plastic waste. Following her presentation, protected area managers discussed waste management challenges and options in their protected areas .
Mr. Maarten Hoffman from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held an interesting presentation about managers’ role in a protection of individual species. On this occasion, he shared valuable experiences and good practices of individual species protection in Europe.
Following the lunch break, participants discussed current financial mechanisms in protected areas and innovative approaches in financing, aiming the overcoming of challenges they face due to the lack of financial resources.
On June 6, 2018, Second Project Stakeholders' Meeting was held. This was a great opportunity to present a progress towards establishment of new protected areas in BiH as well as to agree on further steps in this process. The meeting was attended by stakeholders gathered around several locations planned for protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina: 1. Bjelašnica-river canyon Rakitnica - Treskavica-Visočica, 2. Botanical reserve Mediteranetum, Neum; Cave system Vjetrenica, 3. Livanjsko polje, 4. Orjen-Bijela Gora; Cave of the Mokranjska Miljacka Spring; Cave system Govještica; Tišina. The discussion was held in focus groups resulting with important conclusions about future steps on the road to their protection.
The World Environment Day celebration was concluded with an exciting hiking tour towards north slopes of the Hranisav mountain top on Bjelašnica (940 m above sea level).
The organizers and participants were extremely satisfied with the program as well as the results they achieved. Together with stakeholders and protected area managers, CENER21 and UNEP will continue to implement concrete actions and finally, to double the surface area under protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina.