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Hydro Power Plant Medna on Sana River, BiH

Hydro power plant Medna is planned close to the springs of Sana River, area that is planned to be Park of Nature. Coalition for Sana River is for more than six year fighting against this plant.


The River Sana was classified as first class water quality in Republic of Srpska, and the upper area around the river flow is planned to be declared as a National Park in 2015. In spite of this, Republic of Srpska made a plan for building the hydroelectric project Medna at the source of Sana River, near the towns of Ribnik and Mrkonjic Grad.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Hydro Power Plant Medna on Sana River, BiH
Country:Bosnia and Herzegovina
State or province:Republic of Srpska
Location of conflict:Municipalities Mrkonjić Grad and Ribnik
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 commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

4.9 MW small hydro power plant

Project area:2,3 ha
Level of Investment for the conflictive project23,350,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:-
Start of the conflict:01/05/2010
Company names or state enterprises:Kelag International from Austria - Investor is for years refusing to have a conversation with representatives of Coalition for Sana River.
Interenergo from Slovenia - Concession holder since 2013. Company owned by KI Kelag International Austria
Relevant government actors:Republic of Srpska Government; Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republic of Srpska; Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Republic of Srpska; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Managment of Republic of Srpska; Republic of Srpska Institute for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage; Ribnik Municipality; Mrkonjic Grad Municipality; Banja Luka District Court
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The Coalition for the Protection of Sana, including: Centar za životnu sredinu; Ekološki pokret ‘Zelenkovac’; Udruženje Vrbljanaca; Planinarsko ekološko društvo ‘Vidik’; Planinarsko društvo ‘Čičak’; Ekološko društvo ‘Vrbljanski biseri’; Udruženje gljivara i ljubitelja prirode; Udruženje sportskih ribolovaca Mrkonjić Grad; Udruženje za podršku održivom razvoju ‘Zelene staze’; Udruženje roditelja sa četvoro i više djece ‘Lav’; Društvo sportskih ribolovaca ‘Sana’Planinarsko-ekološko društvo ‘Kanjon’; Planinarsko sportsko društvo ‘Vitorog’; Udruženje građana ‘Omladinski Centar’; Studentska organizacija PMF; Udruženje nezavisnih stvaralaca i aktivista ‘Geto’; Planinarsko društvo ‘Gora’; Udruženje građana ‘Sanus’; Udruženje građana ‘Iskra života’; Planinarsko sportsko društvo ‘Telekom-Poštar’; Centar za odgovornu demokratiju ‘Luna’; Studentska organizacija univerziteta u Banjaluci; Udruženje građana ‘Mogu!’
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
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
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision was not respected.
Proposal and development of alternatives:The Coalition for the Protection of Sana demanded that the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Republic of Srpska cancel the concession agreement. In 2009, the coalition filed a complain on the project environmental permit and environmental impacts assessment study. In addition, the Coalition demanded that the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology begin the procedure for prior protection of the river Sana, as an interim solution until its final declaration as a nature park. They also suggested that investment in sustainable tourism would be better option for the local development.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:In the past the Banja Luka District Court made two decisions against The Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republic of Srpska disputing the construction of the HPP Sana. However, these decisions have not been respected. In December 2013, Banja Luka District Court refused issuing the ecological permit for building the HPP. The same year LSB Elektrane sold the concession permit to the company Intgerenergo from Slovenia.
Sources & Materials

web page of Coalition for Protection Sana River
[click to view]

Protesti: Pravda za Sanu
[click to view]

Da li će se graditi hidroelektrana na Sani?
[click to view]

Banjalučki sud poništio ekološku dozvolu za MHE na izvorima Sane
[click to view]

Privatnici profitirali trgujući koncesijama
[click to view]

Nezavisne - Rat za izvor Sane
[click to view]

BiH: Pobeda ekologa sa Sane -poništena ekološka dozvola za hidroelektranu!
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Photo gallery
[click to view]

Protestni miting na izvoru Sane
[click to view]

Protiv HE na rijeci Sani!
[click to view]

Interviews on the issue to local activists and analysts
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Nataša Crnković, Center for Environment, [email protected], + 387 51 433 140 and Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2103
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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