Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is situated in the central part of the Dinarides. Its main features are mountains and high karst areas covered with forest and pastures. It is the meeting place of a number of geographical regions, from the Adriatic to the Alps and lowlands, which create diverse habitats with numerous endemic and rare species.
BiH is abundant in water resources and its rivers create spectacular canyons and flow into crucial Mediterranean wetlands such as the Nature Park Hutovo blato and delta of the Neretva River. BiH is the home to one of the last remaining European virgin forests – the Perućica forest in the National Park Sutjeska.
WWF has been working in BiH for many years, and with partner NGO Dinarica is especially active in seeking to improve the sustainable management of forests, rivers and wetlands.
WWF Mediterranean launched the Dinaric Arc Sustainable Hydropower Initiative (DASHI) in 2011 to protect the long-term sustainability of freshwater ecosystems in the Dinaric Arc.,
The project aims to change the behaviour of key stakeholders in hydropower development (developers, financial institutions, legislators), improve the legal framework for strategic planning and declaration of exclusion zones for hydropower development, and mobilise civil society in preventing unsustainable hydropower projects, especially in sensitive areas with high biodiversity.
In BiH WWF works on identification of rivers of exceptional biological value which should be identified as exclusion zones. WWF is also working on protection of the Nature Park Hutovo Blato and Livanjsko polje (both classified as Important Bird Habitats and protected by the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance).
You can find the map of the most important river reaches in BiH here.
WWF and IKEA, the Scandinavian company of modern furniture and household goods, have worked together since the beginning of 2012 on the project Promotion of sustainable management of forests as support to sustainable development in BiH. WWF and IKEA work with representatives of relevant ministries and academia in promoting responsible management of forests in BiH. In 2013 we completed FSC certification of 56 000 ha of forest in the Tuzla canton. The project will continue until the end of 2016. WWF with partners will work on the development of national FSC standards, certification of the Fojnice and Kreševa forest in the Srednjebosansko canton, and adaptation of the Law on Forestry in the Federation of BiH.
Work on protected areas in BiH is implemented mostly through the project Protected Areas for Nature and People and through the association Parks Dinarides, network of protected areas of the Dinarides, a spin-off result of the Dinaric Arc Parks project, with special emphasis on strengthening the capacity of staff in national parks and implementing sustainable tourism principles and activities in BiH parks. Within Protected Areas for Nature and People, there are 2 field projects with special goals, in the National Park Una working closely with the local community, and in the National Park Sutjeska developing sustainable tourism products.
WWF has also worked on the promotion of BiH national parks as a go-to destination for foreign and local tourists.
Policy and Advocacy
WWF together with partners from 5 countries in 2016 initiated a project titled Civil society acts for environmentally sound socio-economic development (CO-SEED), in following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey, with WWF Adria from Croatia acting in an advisory role in the project. CO-SEED aims to contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources through improved regulatory frameworks and more participatory and transparent decision- making processes, which involve a vibrant group of civil society organizations and increased attention of the media on the topic, with benefits for society at large. Read more about CO-SEED at www.co-seed.eu/en.
CONTACT WWF Adria in BiH:
Kralja Petra Krešimira 4,
88 000 Mostar
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Phone: +387 36 830 270
Zoran Mateljak, WWF country manager in BiH: