How interested politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina are in preserving the environment is best shown by two examples from Jezero and Žepa municipalities. Namely, without the knowledge of the locals, the "investors" were promised concessions for geological research and the opening of mines and the construction of a hydroelectric power plant. While politicians are fighting for coalitions and mandates, with the hope that they will come to power, the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are fighting to protect their rivers and nature from big capital. When it comes to environmental protection, even during the pre-election campaign, Bosnian politicians and their parties did not have any big pre-election promises. Even in the programs of the party, apart from the usual platitudes about environmental protection, there are few concrete solutions.
- If we wait for the state to solve all the accumulated environmental problems, we will be waiting for a while, says Safet Kubat, activist and founder of the group Rijeke BiH Budi promjena (Be the Change).
- What is the solution? We can look for a solution in united, positive individuals who want good for this country, who will cooperate with each other in preserving the natural assets of our only homeland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, says Kubat, stating that this is why the group was made, whose founder supported the citizens of Jezera and Žepa in their intention to protect their rivers and nature.
In the Municipality of Rogatica, residents have launched a petition to ban the construction of a small hydroelectric power plant on the Žepa River.
"For more than a decade, greedy and heartless "investors" and individuals, who are ready to destroy all the wealth and beauty of the Žepa River, our present and our future, have been attempting to build a hydropower plant for a pittance. All stories about the benefits of building any hydropower plant on the Žepa River are pure lies, greedy extortion and an attack on our present and future, an attack on the environment, beauty and water wealth of our region. Only the world's fraudulent and greedy individuals that they bribe can benefit from this venture, and they are completely negligible in relation to the damage that the hydropower plant would cause to the population and environment of Žepa, but also to all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina", this is an invitation to sign the petition that the inhabitants of Žepa started in order to stop the destruction of their river.
Let's remind the public that in 2010, the project for the construction of a small hydroelectric power plant on the river Žepa was presented to the residents of Žepa. The presentation was made by representatives of the company "SOLGROUP" from Monza, Italy, stating that the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Žepa River would also benefit the local community.
The citizens of Žepa then said that they are against the construction of the hydropower plant, regardless of any conditions and possible benefits for Žepa, stating that Žepa does not need this project.
At the end of October, the residents of Žepa held a protest against the construction of a mini-hydroelectric power plant on the Žepa River.
"The Žepa River is our bloodstream, our beauty, our pride. Along with all its beauty, it also represents the great wealth that we inherited from our ancestors, which we want every honourable person to enjoy and which we want to leave to the generations to come," the locals said clearly.
In the middle of October, the citizens of Jezero municipality also organized a protest called “Stop rudnicima u dolini Plive” or "Stop the mines in the Pliva valley". Locals are against conducting exploration works and the possible opening of a mine in the area around the Pliva river, believing that this can disrupt the ecological balance, water purity, natural beauty and way of life.
On the territory of the municipality of Jezero, the company Lykos Balkan Metals, or rather its daughter company SNK metali, conduct geological research. The locals stated at the protest that until recently these studies were unknown to the inhabitants of Jezera, whose health would be threatened by the opening of the mine, and the road infrastructure in Jezera is already threatened.
"In Jezero, the natural landscape and all its assets, the medicinal lake Đol, the flow of Pliva, which creates the largest natural lake in BiH - the Pliva lakes, as well as the waterfall in Jajce, which is included among the 12 most beautiful in the world - said the inhabitants of Jezero.
The municipal councillors stood by the citizens of Jezero and unanimously adopted the Conclusion by which they ask the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Republika Srpska to cancel the decision on geological research on the territory of the municipality carried out by SNK Metali.
The citizens of Jezera say that the fight to protect their environment has only just begun because even though the municipal councillors unanimously adopted the conclusion demanding the cancellation of the decision on geological research, nothing has changed, the company SNK Metali is still there.
The citizens of Jezero and Žepa were also supported by the activists of the Rijeka BiH Budi promjena group. The representative and founder of this group, Safet Kubat, says that natural resources are the only thing left in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and "if we allow this kind of exploitation of natural resources, the question is what will happen to our country".
- When people ask me why I went to support the people in Jezero and Žepa, I went primarily because of the desire to protect our natural assets and also because of civic solidarity. Nevertheless, the group whose representative I am has 60 thousand people, which gives us strength and visibility. It is through such visibility that we can bring environmental problems into focus, mobilize the community, raise public awareness of these problems and in some way expose what is happening while our representatives, unfortunately, elected, are fighting for seats on the other side, says Kubat.
Precisely because of the inaction of politicians and competent institutions in solving the problem of river and nature pollution, Kubat founded the Rijeka BiH group "Budi promjena".
In two and a half years, activists and members of the "Budi promjena" group of Rijeka Bosnia and Herzegovina have implemented three and a half thousand different cleaning actions in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, planted more than 90 thousand trees, released 100 thousand fish young into rivers and wild streams, submitted more than 500 reports against individuals and legal entities to the competent authorities, put up a large number of billboards, wrote petitions, exerted and are exerting pressure on institutions.