Media campaign calls for participation of the public in the decision-making process on managing the basin of the Sava river

The media campaign “By the Sava, with the Sava, for the Sava ” was  presented in Sarajevo on Friday 27 January 2012, with the aim of including the wider public in the debate on the draft o Plan for management of the Sava River Basin.

The campaign is being implemented in the period of 2011 – 2012, within the framework of the project ‘A successful public participation in the Sava River Basin water management’, that is financed by the European Union via the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance – Cross Border Cooperation Programme for Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the amount around 450,000 EUR. Its goal is boosting sustainable legislation, as well as reforming the organisation and management of water-flow policy of both countries. The project is being implemented by the Development and Support Centre of Tuzla, Green Action Zagreb, Ecological Coalition of the Una River Basin from Bihać/Prijedor and Green Dream from Vinkovci.

The Sava River is one of the most important rivers in the region because it represents the link between the two countries and also because over 8 million people live on both banks of the Sava River Basin, in BiH and in Croatia.

The idea at the heart of this programme of cross border cooperation is the development of neighbourly relations of the two countries through the support to the socio-economic development of this cross border region, stated Natalia Dianiskova, Head of Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH. “This is one of the programme projects focused on the protection of natural resources and environment and the plan for managing the Sava River Basin is in accordance with the EU directives on water flows management. This is the reason why we decided to support this initiative,” noted Natalia Dianiskova.

Amra Ibrahimpašić, from the Agency for the Sava River Basin explained the procedure in which the management plan is to be developed in the future. As she noted, in 2004, four states signed the General agreement regarding the Sava River Basin management, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. The representatives of these states should officially adopt the management plan in June 2012 and according to this, each of the states should implement the plan within its own borders. “To the best of my knowledge, every institution was invited to participate in the plan making, therefore everyone had the opportunity to express his/her opinion, and we tried to include as many nongovernmental organisation as possible and everyone interested in the document”, noted Amra Ibrahimpašić.

Marko Nišandžić, from the Centre for Development and Support Tuzla stressed the need for conducting this project because, as he noted, this was the crucial moment for the condition of water flows in the Sava River Basin. “If we put our minds into it and if we implement the waters framework directive, we have the chance to save our waters. The waters’ condition in the Sava River Basin, also indicated by water analyses, is such that we even have dead rivers, completely devoid of life. -But we still have beautiful areas, preserved areas and natural attractions. We tried to find the way to respond to the situation and we managed to fiund it in this programme of cross border cooperation”, said Marko Nišandžić.

During this campaign, TV spots, radio jingles, documentaries and a radio report will be broadcasted, with the goal to remind the public about natural attractions of the Sava River Basin, warn them about the current situation and invite them to actively participate in drafting the important document for the survival of rivers and people of the Sava Basin.