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7 Jun 2022

Azem Kurtic, BIRN

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Federation entity to ban small HPPs over harm to environment & local residents

Bosnia’s Federation to ban small hydropower plants, 7 June 2022

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Federation parliament, voted...for changes to the entity’s Law on Electricity to ban the building of any more small hydropower plants because of their negative impact on the environment.

The decision comes after a decade-long struggle between environmental activists and construction companies. Activists argue that the construction of small hydropower plants damages rivers, harms biodiversity and causes problems for local residents...

“We have one step left in this process, which is voting in the House of Peoples of the Federal parliament, which needs to confirm this law,” said Lejla Kusturica, director of ACT Foundation, an NGO which has been leading the campaign against small hydropower plants over the past two years.

In this period there have been two important protests happened on the Kruscica river where local women spent more than 504 days in improvised accommodation to prevent the building of a small hydropower plant.

Another major protest happened on the Neretvica river where locals and activists stopped the work of construction companies on four different occasions...