Project summary implemented by Association Eko put
Multinational mining corporations certainly have a great interest in exploiting mineral wealth in poor and economically dependent countries such as BiH, where there is also a high level of corruption, all for a miserable low mineral rent, while they take little or no care about protection nature and environment of the target area. Such is the situation in the municipality of Lopare, a small municipality with a small number of inhabitants who can be easily manipulated with dosed information. The “Lopare” project, about the potential future exploitation of lithium at the Lopare municipality, was released to the public in BiH only recently, when all the geological research had already been completed. The public, including the interested public, did not know anything about this project, although geological research was started in 2018. In this process, there was no inclusion of public information and no public participation in the decision-making process, which we believe was done outside of all rules, even though the company claimed quite differently in its media advertisements. Behind the problem of geological research of lithium, nickel or some other heavy metal or the beginning of mining, there is a much deeper problem that has led to the development of not only environmental awareness about water, land, air pollution, but also what that pollution means to each of us. individually. This problem, which we now recognize as “lithium”, has led to the question of the very survival of our society as it is today. The negative aspects of lithium mining must first reach all the surrounding vulnerable communities – not only Lopare municipality, but also in the wider region. This is an urgent intervention considering that the “Lopare” project has been intensively planned and promoted only since this year. The public has no information, and local communities are very concerned and are looking for support, networking and joint action.
The Eko Put Association from Bijeljina, with the support of the Eko BiH network, aims to inform the public about the planned mining projects and the negative impacts of modern mining on nature, communities and the environment in the region of northeastern BiH. What is lithium; Why is the method of extracting this ore from the earth dangerous for nature and the environment; What is fracking? What is the so-called “green” mining and what is hidden behind this term. Main goal of this intervention is to inform as many citizens and locals as possible about all these issues and to get feedback on the real attitude of the public and media towards the issue of geological research and mining of lithium.
- Citizens of the municipality of Lopare as a sensitive target group that can contribute the most to preserve their environment, not only in their municipality but also in the wider NE BiH region.
- Local groups, movements, activists and CSOs that need to strengthen their capacities and expand knowledge about the issue of “green” mining through networking with experts at a public forum.
- 3 Political parties and candidates for local legislative and executive authorities need to strengthen their capacities in the field of environmental protection and recognize the state of the social situation and the needs of citizens for sustainable development that does not include water, land and air pollution. 4 Editors and journalists of media that can contribute to objective reporting, providing the opportunity for the general public to see the problem of “lithium” from all sides, sides that support the project and sides that do not support the “Lopare” project and the reasons behind it.
The main activity of this intervention is the organization of a public forum in Lopare about impacts of lithium mining on the environment and vulnerable communities. To implement this intervention, it is necessary to take the following steps:
- Form a project team incl. activists and volunteers who will be directly involved in the implementation of the public discussion
- Engage in graphic preparation of materials (digital and print) that will be used for the purpose of information and education: visual, leaflet, poster and roll-up banner.
- Select key speaker of the public forum.
- Preparation of the event announcement, as well as a press release/media campaign
- Organization of the public forum/discussion