Battle against small hydro for Sutjeska, BiH

Battle for Sutjeska started in 2013 as an reaction to plans for construction of five hydro power plants in National park Sutjeska.


The Campaign “Battle for Sutjeska” was launched in 2013 as a response to plans for the construction of small hydropower plants in Sutjeska National Park.

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Basic Data
NameBattle against small hydro for Sutjeska, BiH
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
ProvinceRepublic of Srpska
SiteMunicipalities Foča and Gacko
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project Details13 MW - total for five small HPPs
Project Area (in hectares)21,6 ha
Level of Investment (in USD)42,710,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population10 000
Company Names or State EnterprisesDrina Hydro Energy from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Republic of Srpska (Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersArbor Magna, WWF, Pro Natura/ FoE Switzerland, Rescue team Wolf
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesCenter for Environment demanded from the relevant ministry to cancel the concession agreement. They also suggested that investment in sustainable tourism would be better option for the local development. No compromise is possible regarding this project, Center for Environment and local communities are strict: hydropower plants should not be in national park.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Since hydro power plants are not being build still and having in mind current atmosphere in the media and public, we can consider that we have success in the campaign. Investor is slowly stepping back and Ministry for Environment issued Conclusion that will not continue with permitting procedure until Spatial plan for NP Sutjeska is adopted.
Sources and Materials

Law on National parks
[click to view]

Law on nature conservation
[click to view]


Publication for campaign
[click to view]


Campaign 'Battle for Sutjeska'
[click to view]

FoE - No big hydro in Sutjeska!
[click to view]

[click to view]

Impact study for hydro plants at Sutjeska blocked
[click to view]

Media Links

Video for campaign
[click to view]

Other Documents

Ecoturism in the park Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorNataša Crnković, Center for Environment, [email protected], + 387 51 433 140
Last update19/10/2015