Forest fires are the nightmare of many countries in the world, and to make matters worse, the situation is becoming more serious due to climate change and global warming.
Thus, every year forest fires cause more and more damage and in a very short period destroy forests that have grown and maintained ecological systems for centuries. The only thing that society can do is to act responsibly and understand the seriousness of the situation and everyone respects the recommendations that can be found in the publications of many media, on many pages, as well as to promote and transmit the recommendations through social networks before the season of high temperatures.
What the government can do is to publish these recommendations, warn citizens, constantly remind them of the danger of forest fires and what can lead to them, but also to be on standby so that there is no need to react “five to twelve”.
In this period of time, it is usually much warmer in our country, and considering that the weather has been rainy for the last few weeks and the temperatures are low, many have forgotten that very quickly there can be a sudden change and rise in temperatures.
Sudden temperature changes caused by climate change are already causing problems for some European countries, so we should not forget that Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an exception and that climate change has an impact on the weather in our country.
We checked whether preparations are being made for the season of forest fires, and the Federal Administration of Civil Protection explained to us what makes preparations difficult and what has been done so far.
From the aspect of jurisdiction prescribed by the Law on Fire Protection and Firefighting and the Law on Protection and Rescue of People and Material Assets from Natural and Other Disasters, fire protection and firefighting form an integral part of the unique system of protection and rescue of people and material assets.
The Law on Fire Protection and Firefighting, among other things, stipulated that fire protection is an activity of special interest for the Federation, canton, city and municipality, and it is carried out in the manner provided by this law, by-laws adopted on the basis of this law and international technical norms and standards valid in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which refer to the fire protection measures provided for in this law.
Article 6 of the Law on Fire Protection stipulates that no one has the right to put someone else’s life, health and material goods at risk of fire with their material goods and their actions, by not implementing the fire protection measures prescribed by this law and other regulations. Also, every natural person has the right to protect his life and health from fire, which is insured in accordance with this law and other regulations.
While Article 13 of the Law on Fire Protection stipulates that the Federal Administration of Civil Protection in the field of fire protection and firefighting, among other things, implements the established policy and ensures the execution of this law and other federal regulations in the field of fire protection and firefighting in legal entities , state bodies and other institutions in the Federation.
This means that the Federal Administration of Civil Protection has no express authority or responsibility regarding the undertaking of preventive and other measures to protect forests and forest land from fire.
Furthermore, the field of forestry in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was regulated by the Federal Law on Forests and by-laws adopted on the basis of that law, until the ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when it ceased to be valid at the end of November 2009.
The FUCZ states that the absence of a legal solution at the level of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which deals with the field of forestry, has imposed the need to pass cantonal laws on forests at the cantonal level in order to protect and preserve forest resources in the entire area of the canton.
“As a consequence of still not passing the federal law on forests, nine cantons have passed their own cantonal laws on forests,” they state.
Cantonal laws on forests regulate the management and management of forests in different ways, the issue of ownership as well as the allocation of financial resources for the use, protection and improvement of forests, which is in contradiction with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Who then can make the preparations?
“That is why it is very important to ensure a stable legal framework, in such a way that a federal law on forests is passed as soon as possible and concrete activities are undertaken to improve the organization of forest management in order to sustainably use resources, preserve the natural structure, protect the environment, etc. So that legal entities that managing forests and forest land (cantonal forest companies for state forests) and other owners/representatives of owners for private forests (natural and legal entities), must start investing more significantly in preventive measures to protect forests from fire,” they said.
From KJP “Sarajevo-šume” d.o.o. Sarajevo did not respond to our inquiry about whether any preventive measures had been taken.
Nevertheless, regardless of doing absolutely nothing and the mentioned problems regarding the law on forests, the Federal Administration of Civil Protection is making efforts to advance and improve fire protection measures, including fire protection measures in open spaces in the entire territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Within its competences, the Federal Administration of Civil Protection sent recommendations to all protection and rescue operators in local self-government units and cantons in 2023 (before the fire season) to take preventive measures for protection and rescue from fires in open spaces, with the aim of preventive action and capacity building to reduce the risk of fire in open space,” they said.
The FUCZ also stated that the Budget of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2023 planned financial resources, and in these days the procurement of jet fuel for helicopters and other aircraft for firefighting in the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be carried out in the amount of 100,000 BAM , in order to meet the fire season in 2023 as ready as possible.
“In order to prepare for the 2023 fire season, several round tables and conferences were held on the topic of preparations for the 2023 fire season, where certain conclusions and recommendations were made, all with the aim of better preparedness of the structures for response, and preparation for possible request for international assistance in the event of the need to extinguish fires through the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union or request for assistance on a bilateral basis,” said the Federal Administration of Civil Protection, KLix.ba reports.
Source: Sarajevo Times