Bosnia and Herzegovina Takes on Climate Change
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 26 May 2010-Bosnia and Herzegovina— one of the most biologically diverse countries in Europe— has now officially joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This month Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted a national report to UNFCC, making it a full participant in ongoing global discussions of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Read: Bosnia and Herzegovina UNFCC report
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s report, known as an Initial National Communication, concludes climate change is caused by human activities and, as such, can be addressed by taking appropriate action. The report provides a factual overview of climate factors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a calculation of greenhouse gas emissions (emissions linked to global climate change), and estimates the potential impact of climate change in the Balkan nation. The document concludes with general recommendations and next steps—particularly development of a national climate change mitigation strategy, implementation of commitments under the South East European Climate Change Framework Action Plan for Adaptation, and preparations for the Second National Communication. The INC data and recommendations will help create conditions for developing a long-term national development strategy and implementation at the local and national level.
Stretching from the Adriatic coast to the mountains, Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to nearly 2,000 species of endangered plants and animals. Endangered animals include salamanders, grouse and brown bears. However, only a small amount of Bosnia and Herzegovina's landscape has been preserved as protected areas (two of its three natural parks are preserved as historic battlefields). At the same time, there is limited public awareness of conservation issues and many threats on habitats and natural resources. Climate change is expected to also have a wide-ranging impact on the country. Rising sea levels are likely to make dramatic changes to its coastline. Water supplies are also expected to change due to alterations in river flow. Additionally, more severe weather is expected to create more flooding and landslides. Rural and coastal residents are also expected to move into urban areas.
With such changes in mind, Bosnia and Herzegovina first signed on to the UNFCC in 2000. The INC report is the latest step in the process of mitigating climate change. UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina organized the report with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility. As part of that process, 50 local experts from a variety of disciplines helped prepare the report in accordance with international standards.
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