Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services
According to experts, the ratio of the number of species to the total surface area of the country indicates that it is among the most biodiverse countries in Europe. Thirty percent (around 1,800 species) of flora endemic to the Balkans is found in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A variety of environmental conditions have resulted in diverse flora, fauna, fungi and habitat types. Assorted landscapes (Mediterranean, Sub-Mediterranean, Mediterranean-mountain, Pannonian, peri-Pannonian, upland, relic-refugial, wetland, karst field) make up the country.
An inventory of baseline and updated information on species diversity does not exist in the country to assess the status and trends of biodiversity. Studies have however been conducted to evaluate the status of ecosystem services based on the categories identified in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). Provisional assertions are that the states of provisional services (food, timber, fuel, genetic resources, potable water, natural medicines, etc.) and cultural services (cultural, spiritual and religious values, knowledge system, educational values, eco-tourism, etc.) are favourable at present. Conversely, regulating services (air quality regulation, climate regulation, water regulation, water purification, etc.) and supporting services (primary production of organic matter, flow of nutrients, land forming, pollination, etc.) are unfavourable and impacted by an increase in direct pressures.
Red Lists have been recently produced for each of the country’s two autonomous entities (Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina). In regard to the former, 818 species of vascular plants, 304 bird species, 46 fish species, 57 mammal species, 20 amphibian species, 25 reptile species, 273 insect species are contained in the Red List. As for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 658 plant species, 27 mammal species, 40 bird species, 6 reptile species, 4 amphibian species, 36 fish species, and a large number of invertebrate species are Red-Listed. It should be noted that these lists have not been harmonized and that no single list yet exists at state level.
Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)
The most intense pressures are conversion of habitats, over-exploitation of resources, pollution, climate change and invasive species. Also relevant are fires, activities (or lack thereof) in the agricultural, energy, mining and industrial sectors, and limited capacities for waste disposal.