BANJALUKA - This project was intended for journalists of audiovisual, print and online media from Bosnia and Herzegovina with aim to increase their capacity for professional reporting on environmental issues.

The main activities were educational workshops consisting of 3 modules where journalists got acquainted with the EU environmental policy and the obligations that BiH, as a potential candidate for EU membership has in this context. They had the opportunity to learn from experts, activists and fellow journalists.

According to the authors of the project these were the highlights:

1- Environmental discussion

Some of the topics discussed were: banning the further construction of mini-hydroelectric power plants on the rivers of BiH; speeding up procedures for declaring Livanjsko polje a protected area which is one of the largest karst flood plains in Europe, home to more than 200 species of birds and other animals; the fight against poaching; how to improve the waste recycling system in BiH; what is needed for a good and well-founded journalistic story on environmental topics; what is the right to free access to environmental information, etc.

2- Sustainable mobility

At the second training session in Banjaluka, the focus was on smart urban mobility and heavy metals. Zoran Poljašević, an environmental protection engineer explained that heavy metals are used in the production of batteries for electric cars and that the processing of heavy metals is extremely dangerous and can permanently destroy habitats, i.e. nature. Regarding urban mobility, Dragan Kabić, coordinator of the Transport program at the Center for the Environment, said Bosnia and Herzegovina is still far from implementing the concept of smart urban mobility. "For example, the total capacity of public parking lots for cars in Banja Luka is 4,826 spaces, compared to only 279 spaces for available bicycle parking. Furthermore, the length of the bicycle paths in Banja Luka is 15 km, while, for the sake of comparison, the bicycle paths in Vienna are as long as 1400 km", stated Kabić. 

3- Feedback

Here are some of the impressions expressed by journalists in their written evaluations:

Informative, substantive, appropriate, educational, very useful, good interlocutors and topics that will be useful to us as a starting point for additional and more detailed research and work, as journalists and as activists.

Each lecture gave ideas for dozens of stories, and the lecturers showed willingness and are ready to help in research. Proposal: Give us more of these workshops, because this is the only way we journalists can get quality, good and important stories. Precisely because the mainstream media is not talking about this. Thank you".

4- Publications

Several participants published articles and reports on some of the topics discussed at the trainings organized within the project.  An investigation about the negative business of mini-hydroelectric power plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A series of podcasts, a publication in the daily newspaper Nezavisne novine, a podcast about protected areas, an extensive article on the doku.ba platform entitled "Rivers are not and should not be private property".


Helsinki Citizens' Assembly (hCa BL)

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka is an organisation that supports and stimulates autonomy and freedom of all citizens through involvement of marginalized social groups in democratic processes, particularly women and youth.

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly (hCa BL)
€12.000 granted dd. 04/04/2022


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