Hutovo blato,Neretva and Trebižet in focus of the Foundation for Endangered Ecosystems

Wednesday, 09.04.2014. | by: Dušan Musa, Večernji list

Nature park Hutovo blato

In Nature park Hutovo blato near Čapljina was held a workshop "Presentation of project activities CEPF 's - Foundation for endangered ecosystems". It is a foundation based in Washington, which in Herzegovina funded a number of projects.

Speaking about the work of the Foundation Borut Rubičić, project manager for the Balkans, says the Foundation in the Balkans currently supports thirty projects. "First we presented projects in Montenegro, then Albania and Macedonia, and in the end we are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where is the largest number of ongoing projects. On the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina there are three areas where the focus of our work, Hutovo blato, the lower course of the Neretva river and rivet Trebižat. Our projects are focused on the protection of biodiversity. One part of the project is focused on sustainable tourism, the other for subterranean fauna and the vulnerability of that part of the habitat in the lower course of the Neretva. Considerable attention we give Hutovo blato as extremely important habitat of migratory birds where, until recently, a major problem was the illegal hunting. We joined in thinking about sustainable financing of Nature park Hutovo blato and promotion of Trebižat river. We are focused on the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is important for biodiversity", says Rubinić.

During the workshop was presented nine projects and about them discussed by experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatian, and Czech Republic, and one of the projects implemented Herzegovinian Mountain Rescue Service in Mostar. Presenting the project miss Ana Božić says: "Our project related to the research speleology forms in river Trebižat". Of the ten pits we investigated six. There were all sorts of things, until the scene buried waste pits. In future we will try to educate the local population.

REPORT: Celebration of World Day of wetlands

International scientific conference on Wetlands

""The role of wetlands in storage of CO2"

Tuesday, 25.02.2014. | by: Working group of scientific conference

Celebration of World Day of wetlands

In addition to the many other values and ecosystem services, wetlands are the largest warehouse of greenhouse gases and primarily CO2. Peatlands can store more carbon dioxide per hectare per annum than tropical rainforests. Peatland like, ecosystems are very often compromised because they considered low productivity, but rate of their net production makes them a key habitat type in the global carbon cycle. Therefore, the restoration of peatlands in active conditions leading to the establishment of a more resilient habitats capable of successful responses to climate change. The total area of histosols (low peat) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 9708.468 ha. In the area of Hutovo blato straight, lowland, peat soil on alluvial sandy loam occupies an area of 973.64 hectares. In the wider area of Gabela, towards the border with the Republic of Croatian, straight low peat soil covers an area of 272.63 hectares. The total area of histosols in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 9708.47 ha.

Hutovo blato is recognized as a wetland ecosystem of international importance, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the signing of the Ramsar Convention, took the responsibility to protect this area. Unfortunately, changes in the water regime, diverting water and subtracting it from Hutovo blato for other users, has led to dramatic changes in ecosystems and loss of biodiversity in the Nature Park.

It is also important to emphasize that first of all necessary is to enable the public enterprise "Hutovo blato" undisturbed work on protection and preservation of Hutovo blato. Financial problems are stopping work of this company and it is necessary to react to stop the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources of the Nature Park.

Main debate

The meeting was open by the Director of Public Enterprise "Hutovo blato", Nikola Zovko, who gave an overview of the enterprise business and condition of wetland ecosystems Hutovo blato. Zoran Mateljak from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said that besides that the Hutovo blato is already recognized as a wetland of international importance (by entering on list of the Ramsar Convention), additional global significance for the Hutovo blato gives the fact that peatlands in the global scale most important ecosystems for CO2 storage. Although Bosnia and Herzegovina has not taken international commitments on greenhouse gas emissions yet, it can be expected that this will happen soon, and peatlands in BiH then receive on value that can be expressed monetarily. Prof.dr.sc Nusret Drešković from the University of Sarajevo calculated when the BiH appears in the international market of emissions of greenhouse gases, peatlands only in Hutovo blato will be worth around 100 million euros, and throughout the country, this value should be increase up to ten times.

The best indicator of the condition of ecosystem Hutovo blato is a condition the most important species of flora and fauna. Prof.dr.sc Višnja Bukvić explained that there was a significant decline in the number of bird populations in relation to the situation before diverting water from Hutovo blato for the production of electricity. Similar data can notice with the state of amphibian populations, as noted mr. sc Irena Raguž Ecologist, an employee of JP Hutovo blato. Prof.dr.sc Glamuzina pointed to the huge threat of total loss of endemic species in Hutovo blato, also because of the water regime. Emil Bakula, dipl.ing. and Marinko Antunovic, dipl.ing. from the Agency for the water area of the Adriatic Sea from Mostar presented details of why and how there has been a distortion of the natural water regime and review of water quality. Final discussion was related to finding a mechanism for sustainable funding Public Enterprise "Hutovo blato".

The meeting was closed by Mr. Mladen Rudež, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Environment for issuing environmental permits, he expressed full support for efforts to protect and preserve the park Hutovo blato, and offered technical support to the Ministry in addressing the problems presented.

Conclusions of the International scientific-technical conference on Wetlands

  • Revitalization, and then preservation of wetland ecosystems Hutovo blato is urgent and critical priority. The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina has committed by joining the international Ramsar Convention on the conservation of Hutovo mud. Also obligations of the Federation and federal agencies is to protect their national monuments on which the list is Hutovo blato and also Government Herzegovina - Neretva County has to protect Nature Park, as well as local communities, municipalities Čapljina and municipalities Stolac , to take care of their territory in the nature park.
  • JPublic Enterprise "Hutovo mud" with technical and financial support of WWF and the International Foundation Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) work on the preparation of the Action Plan for the revitalization and preservation of ecosystems Hutovo blato. Financing for implementation of this Action Plan will be asked from EP HZHB, ERS and HEP because these three EP diverted water that would naturally stay in ecosystem Hutovo blato.
  • PMr. Mladen Rudež Assistant Minister and Head of the Environmental permits in front of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism has pointed to the legal opportunities to revitalize and preserve the ecosystem Hutovo blato solved just through the environmental permit. Namely, the legislation provides that the parts of the Action Plan, which is under construction, incorporating the environmental permit (which certainly needs to be renewed by the end of 2014.), for work of pump hydropower plants Čapljina.
  • In parallel with efforts to revitalize and preserve the ecosystem, it is necessary to urgently work on establish sustainable funding Public Enterprise "Hutovo blato." Considering that the financing of this company HNŽ Government cannot be fully met, it is necessary to create conditions for the financing of enterprise involved municipalities Čapljina and Stolac as local governments, and the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism. It is also necessary to stimulate the inclusion of Funds for environment at the entity and cantonal level.

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