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Gravel and Sand Extraction from the Drina River, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina


The Drina is a 346 km long international river, which forms a large portion of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is the longest karst river in the Dinaric Alps. The Drina River has been transformed as the result of extensive sand and gravel extraction. Fish stocks have decreased, the surrounding forest belt has been destroyed and access to the bank has become restricted due the construction of illegal cottages along the shore, which has been fenced and illegally privatised. Excessively (illegal) excavation of sand and gravel is endangering drinking water sources, demolishing the natural ecosystems and destroying dikes that protect against floods.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Gravel and Sand Extraction from the Drina River, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
(municipality or city/town)Loznica, Badovinci, ...
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

At least 500 m3 of sand are extracted per day along the river.

Type of populationRural
Affected Population:200,000 - 300,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2000
Relevant government actors:Governments of B&H and Serbia, municipality of Bogatić/Badovinci (Serbia)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Eko Put Ecological Association, Bosnia and Herzogovina
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, 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
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Development of alternatives:Unfortunately only environmental NGOs and fishermen are interested in solving the problem and they propose either completely halting extraction or at least regulating the exploiters’ rights and obligations. Eko Put Bijeljina is advocating for the introduction of environmental taxes for each truck loaded with gravel, and has proposed that companies

engaged in gravel extraction ought to be required to restore the fish stocks and revitalise the destroyed ecosystem.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: They are continuing with the exploitation.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Law on Environmental Protection
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Meta information
Contributor:Katarina; Focus, association for sustainable development; [email protected]
Last update14/07/2014