EU Support to Flood Risk Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Floods in Europe are becoming more frequent seemingly due to climate change. According to European Union Floods Directive, Flood Risk Management Plans set out how relevant institutions and communities should work together to manage flood risk in terms of preparedness, prevention and protection and how to respond to potential hazards and manage flood risks, in line with the EU requirements. The two-year project funded by the European Union “Technical Assistance for Preparation of the Flood Risk Management Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina” provided support to the development of integrated flood risk management in Bosnia and Herzegovina in line with the EU Floods Directive and in coordination with the Water Framework Directive.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions during most of the project period, the project team managed to finalise the five plans and Roof Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The public consultation process was successfully completed for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Created Plans and other project outcomes, represent a solid base for implementation of the flood risk management measures and compliance with EU Flood Directive within the following six-year cycle and they set the path for further improvements within the future cycles”, said Nijaz Lukovac, Project Team Leader.

Five Draft Flood Risk Management Plans for Sava and Adriatic Sea watersheds in both entities and Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including related Action Plans, were developed during the implementation of the Project, as well as Roof Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is expected that project results related to the plans in Republika Srpska will be finalized by the responsible institutions in the coming period. Strategic environmental impact assessment for each Flood Risk Management Plan has also been prepared and publicly presented within the public consultation process held in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihać, Mostar and Brčko. The project also developed reporting scheme on the implementation of the Flood Risk Management Plans following relevant EU standards and guidelines and it was integrated into Water Information Systems of Water Agencies in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Public Institution Vode Srpske. Follow up strategy document is an important achievement of the Project as it includes activities that need to be undertaken to further enhance alignment with the EU acquis on water management.

This two million EUR worth project, funded by the European Union, is just one of the many projects within the comprehensive EU support to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the water management sector in the field of flood protection. Continued support provided by the European Union should strengthen the capacities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and establish an effective coordination mechanism on EU-related obligations to be able to clearly address the next steps on its EU integration path in the environmental sector.

The project was implemented by the Consortium led by SUEZ Consulting (SAFEGE).