Natasa Balkan Floods

At a recent press conference, Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Center for Environment presented a video that was made during last year’s disastrous floods, in which they aim to present numerous questions that the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina still ask as well as a document with the positions of organizations from the region on the management of rivers and management of flood risks.

Igor Kalaba, Energy and Climate Change Project Coordinator: “Our attitude is that last year’s floods were a consequence of climate change and that such events will be more frequent in the future. Bosnia and Herzegovina should therefore join the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also to commit to mitigate the effects of climate change. This is only possible if you integrate climate change as a significant factor in the action of all sectors and develop strategies, from energy production and construction building to transport and agriculture.”

At the moment, Center for Environment deals with climate change mostly through the campaign “Stop dirty energy – because the future is renewable”, which draws the attention of the public and institutions to the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and fights against the construction of new coal power plants, which are among the major causes of climate change.

Nataša Crnković, Biodiversity and Protected Areas Project Coordinator:”Last year’s floods showed us that conventional approaches to water management can no longer be considered adequate. The authorities should take into account the great potential of floodplains and wetlands, which can serve as a natural retention basin. Giving more space to rivers across the world has been seen to be a positive method for flood protection, which is in contradiction to our current approach. Swamps are being dried up instead of using them for such purposes.”

Center for Environment declared that due to the nature of the problem the issue of flooding should have been approached seriously and cross-sectorally. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and water, forest and waste management, raising awareness among citizens and their organizations, as well as early warning systems and better cooperation between institutions, are only part of the efforts that are necessary to prevent such natural disasters and mitigate their consequences.