The law of the stronger in Bardača – 178 species of birds : 1 variety of corn

2.2.2016 - Bardača

On the occasion of the 2nd of February, the International Day of wetlands, we paid a visit to the wetland complex Bardača, where the situation remains alarming, the lakes are drained and most of the arguments for its status of an international protected area have disappeared.

For many years, we have been advocating with the relevant institutions to seriously approach the problem of management of this area, to conduct the revision of the property-legal relations hence to protect the public interest. We participated in the preparation and designation of Bardača as the area protected under the Ramsar Convention, as well as in the launch of the initiative and the formation of the workgroup for its proclamation as the area of protected natural and cultural heritage. Unfortunately, after many years, we still have not managed to move further than meetings and promises.

Viktor Bjelić, Center for Environment: „In this period when we are facing with consequences of climate changes and increasingly frequent climate extremes, as floods and droughts, wetlands can play a crucial role in the regulation of the water level as the natural retention zones, because of which they have to be preserved”.  

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Due to the lack of the status of a protected area, long-term unsustainable management and violation of this habitat led to a reduction in the number of species, not only birds, but also fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, plants and other species. If something does not change soon, Bardača could permanently lose its natural and cultural values, along with its status  of an internationally important wetland. This demonstrates that the competent institutions do not have the power and the influence to preserve our only international wetland habitat and that private interests are still preferred over the public interest.

Nataša Crnković, Center for Environment: „A total of 178 bird species were found in Bardača, which is the reason why it was internationally recognized in 2007 as an international wetland habitat of importance for the birds. Today only a few species are found, while those that were specific for the area such as the Glossy ibis, Coot, Whiskered tern, Black-headed gull and Great crested grebe, no longer nest there. These facts can lead to the loss of the international status.”

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Expert basis for the establishment of the Protected Cultural Landscape “Bardača-Donja Dolina” was made in 2007 by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, but the act on its protection is still pending.

Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 ratified the Convention on Wetlands of international importance, especially as the waterfowl habitat, better known as the Ramsar Convention. Since then, under this Convention, three wetlands have been declared in BiH: Bardača, Hutovo blato and Livanjsko polje, out of which only the Nature Park – Hutovo blato has the status of a protected area in BiH.

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