EU Floods Directive incorporated in the Law on Water of Republika SrpskaNov 16, 2017
During 2017, the Law on Water of Republika Srpska is aligned with the EU Floods Directive, which defines the method of flood risk assessment and management in order to reduce the harmful effects that floods pose to humans, economic activity and the environment. By incorporating this Directive into the legislative framework in the water management sector in Republika Srpska, a legal basis for better flood risk management was created.
The alignment of the Law on Water with the EU Directive is implemented within the UNDP project “Technology transfer for climate resilient flood management in Vrbas River Basin”, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the activities of which are carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republika Srpska, Entity ministries in charge of water management and civil protection, and 14 municipalities in the Vrbas River Basin.
“The amendments to the RS Law on Water now define the segments of preliminary risk assessment, development of flood hazard and risk maps, establishing forecasting and early warning systems, as well as regulating the development of Flood Risk Management Plan" stated Raduška Cupać, UNDP Project Manager.
Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska, Čedomir Stojanović emphasised that this has now opened the space and indicated a need for a whole series of the necessary amendments of the entire Law on Waters so as to fully regulate the area of water management and to align the legislation with the remaining requirements and the EU Directives governing this area.
In addition to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska, representatives of the public company Vode Srpske (Waters of Srpska) and the RS (Republika Srpska) Hydro meteorological Institute were also involved in the activities on the amendments to this Law, as part of the water management structure in the RS.
In order to ensure the application of the Law, drafting of the implementing regulations is in progress, the adoption of which is expected by the end of 2017, thus making the Floods Directive fully incorporated into national legislation.
By regulating the field of flood risk management, the systematic operations of institutions and agencies in Republika Srpska will be ensured in order to reduce the devastating effects of floods, particularly to the most vulnerable categories of population and agricultural production.
The project "Technology transfer for climate resilient flood management in Vrbas River Basin" aims at providing support to the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels to adapt to flood risks by using new technologies that will enable economic activities that are more resilient to climate change.