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Lecture on Legal Challenges in Achievement of Sustainable Environmental Goals

M.A. Emina Veljović, legal expert in Environmental Law and Environmental Policies in BiH, currently holding a position of an Executive Director of the Association „Resporce Aarhus Centre in BiH“ delivered a lecture to IUS students and staff on legal challenges in the achievement of sustainable environmental goals. The lecture, organized by the IUS Faculty of Law, was aimed at raising awareness on environmental issues as they arise from the systems of subsidies in combination with the institutional corruption.

The guest speaker underlined that the activities of the Aarhus Centre NGO are based on the provisions of the Aarhus Convention adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe which establishes a number of rights of the public with regard to the environment. The Convention provides for the right of everyone to receive environmental information that is held by public authorities, the right to participate in environmental decision-making and the right to review procedures to challenge public decisions that have been made without respecting the two aforementioned rights or environmental law in general. Ms. Veljović stressed that despite the adopted laws, by-laws, strategies and conventions, BIH is struggling to implement them in practice notably for the fact that they need to be harmonized on all levels of authority in BiH.

The focus of the lecture was on case studies of small hydro-electric power plants (SHPP) that are being built throughout BiH and are being disputed by the citizens, activists and NGOs. Some of the most well-known cases were the SHPPs in Kruščica, Buna I and Buna II where the so-called green alternatives offered by the investors were disputed in environmental, financial and legislative aspects.