Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated at the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe. It borders on Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea. The capital city is Sarajevo.
- Air quality problems have been observed in major urban and industrial areas. Air quality is also accentuated by soot, slag, barren soil, and ash owing to inadequate disposal and treatment of industrial waste, as well as traditional burning of household waste. The last years witnessed an increase in the pollutant emissions from non-stationary sources, specifically from traffic.
- Urban population in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not fully supplied with safe and treated water. Specific data on the quantity of lead, pesticides, nitrates and microorganisms in drinking water samples is limited or not available. Groundwater remains polluted, with uncontrolled use of fertilisers and chemicals, untreated sewage and leaching from contaminated soils. The contamination of surface waters by household and industrial waste poses a serious risk. Eutrophication of rivers is sometimes a problem.
- Although in Bosnia and Herzegovina forestland covers 52% of the territory, soil erosion, due to deforestation, poor land management practice and overgrazing of livestock are important contributors to environmental degradation. 10% of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is badly damaged by erosion. Soil is additionally degraded by industrial and household waste dumps. Industrial waste presents a major threat to the land. There has been little if any substantive rehabilitation of former chemical and fertiliser plants, open pit coal and other mines. A specific post-conflict situation concerns land mines and unexploded ordinances. Until these are cleared, the opportunities for reconstruction and agriculture are severely limited. Use of pesticides in agriculture has declined.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 0.5% of the country is under protection. Mountain Vlasic has been exposed to deforestation activities despite having biodiversity of global significance. Of 72 mammal species, 10 were considered threatened as of 2001, as were two species of birds and six species of freshwater fish. Endangered species include the slender-billed curlew, Danube salmon, and the field adder.
- It is expected that the average annual temperature will increase, and average net precipitation will decrease under the impact of climate change. Erosion, soil deficiency, and an increase in water temperature will occur in coastal areas. Due to changes in precipitation, there will be a decrease in the quantity of water flow in rivers and a shortage of water supply for households and industry. The country’s infrastructure will also be negatively affected: there is an increased risk of landslides, flooding and traffic accidents during summer.