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Bosnia and Herzegovina - Country Profile

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Biodiversity Facts

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.

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first NBSAP was prepared for the 2008-2015 period however only adopted in 2011. Implementation of this NBSAP has not been completed in its entirety due to a lack of financial resources and the absence of professional institutions to lead expert and scientific activities. It should be noted that significant progress has nevertheless been made in regard to the development of Red Lists for both entities, strengthening the legal framework, establishment of gene banks, development and strengthening of biological and landscape diversity conservation activities through the water management sector, establishment of the national CHM and raising public awareness on biodiversity.

The country is currently preparing a revised NBSAP for the 2015-2020 period whose structure differs from the first in that it is based on the conceptual framework suggested by the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP). Also, taking into account the global framework, 22 national goals have been proposed (i.e. they could be modified or reformulated by the time the NBSAP 2015-2020 is completed) and include associated timelines and indicators.

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

As indicated in the fifth national report received in May 2014, significant progress has been achieved in regard to Targets 1, 2 and 17; little progress has been achieved in regard to Targets 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20; and no progress have been achieved in regard to Targets 3 and 10.

As mentioned above, 22 national goals have been proposed with consideration given to the global framework (ABTs) (see http://www.cbd.int/countries/targets/?country=ba).

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

The Law on Environmental Protection for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted in 2013 and the Law on Nature Protection for the Republika Srpska in 2014, both of which are harmonized with the EU Directives on Habitats and Birds. A decree on conditions for releasing waste waters into natural recipients and the public sewerage system for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted in 2012.

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

There is a lack of an adequate biodiversity monitoring system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme