Promotion of Manual for implementation of Aarhus convention and some examples of of violations of the Aarhus Convention
At Friday, 02.11.2012, at the premises of the Aarhus center, a “Manual for the practical implementation of the Aarhus Convention in BiH" was promoted, drafted as part of the Regional Project Support implementation of the Aarhus Convention, in which participating Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania. In the days when citizens across the country are taking action to achieve rights which Aarhus Convention guarantees, from Fojnica through Konjic to Foca, this manual can be a useful tool, both for citizens, environmental organizations, and the institutions, ombudsmen, lawyers, and judges should help the implementation of the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention.
Manual is presented by Mr. Andrea Cellino, Director of Planning and Policy in the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Miroslav Zivanovic, Deputy Mayor of the City of Sarajevo and Mrs. Azra Rogovic-Grubić front of the Department of Environmental Protection at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations BH. The promotion was also gathered representatives of state and entity ministries and institutions, international organizations and non-governmental organizations. Manual was created jointly by ten authors from the ministries of environment on the entity level, Brcko District, legal experts and activists from non-governmental organizations.
The manual can be downloaded here.
At a time when Bosnia and Herzegovina, citizens are fighting for the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and their rights guaranteed to them by Aarhus Convention, and arrogantly denied by the relevant competent authorities, seeking for justice on the courts, this manual can be of benefit to everyone.
Some examples of violations of the Aarhus Convention in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Environmental permit for MHE "Luke", on the river “Željeznica” - locations "Gotuša", Fojnica. Unsatisfied residents of local villages, after the ministry has not accept any argument against the issuing of environmental permits that are given at the public hearing, last 3 months through peaceful protests at the site to prevent the start of construction works, until the competent court has decided. A few days ago, the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo, has ruled in their favor and invalidated the environmental permit which is issued by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Public debate on the construction of seven mini hydropower plants and three major, in the canyon, river "Ljuta", which was organized within three to four days, where the environmental organizations has left a period of 2 days to analyze the detailed documentation of environmental impact assessment of about 1700 pages. To even more absurd, River "Ljuta" are in the area of future national park "Bjelasnica-Igman-Treskavica-Canyon Canyon" whose declaration delays past 10 years, while the legal and illegal activities, destroys and degrades area, which is proclaimed as area of special interest from government of Federation B&H.
Identical problems arise in cases of building hydro power plants in one entity (RS), where a negative impact in another entity (Federation) totally neglected, and public hearings are not held, as is the case with the projects, "HPP Ulog" and HPP System "Gornji horizonti ". More on that here.
With great interest, we expect production of the next national report on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention, and we hope that all these examples of gross violations of international agreement to find their place in the report, and that they are not be cover up by responsible ministries.