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
NameGravel and Sand Extraction from the Drina River, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
SiteLoznica, 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 CommoditiesSand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAt least 500 m3 of sand are extracted per day along the river.
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population200,000 - 300,000
Start Date01/01/2000
Relevant government actorsGovernments of B&H and Serbia, municipality of Bogatić/Badovinci (Serbia)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEko Put Ecological Association, Bosnia and Herzogovina
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
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-economic 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 AlternativesUnfortunately 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 as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly. They are continuing with the exploitation.
Sources and Materials

Law on Environmental Protection
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Meta Information
ContributorKatarina; Focus, association for sustainable development; [email protected]
Last update14/07/2014