Exploitation of gypsum is planned near the Una National Park, in Kulen-Vakuf worried

Gypsum exploitation is planned a few kilometers from the Una National Park. The locals of Kulen-Vakufa warn that this quarry will threaten their existence, tourism, and the environment.

The concession was concluded for 25 years and could seriously threaten the existence of the residents of Kulen-Vakuf, who are pinning all their hopes on a successful tourist season. They say, the period is not small, and the area from which the plaster will be excavated is not small either – it is a field the size of five hectares.

“It would endanger this air spa. People are afraid. They will lose everything. It’s mostly a poor population, we make ends meet, as they say,”  says Nermin Kasum.

The quarry is located only a few kilometers from the National Park, which received more than 150,000 visits last year. The problem is not only tourists, this could also have a negative impact on the Una river, as well as on the flora and fauna. The authorities are also aware of this, so they say they will step up monitoring.

“Soil pollution can occur, it is located in a karst area, and water can reach those parts where the bed of the Una river is located. We are quite worried about all this”,  says Alen Zulić, director of the Una National Park.

The mayor of Bihać Elvedin Sedić (POMAK) notes that tourism has been on the rise in recent years and that Bihać wants to build economic development around it.

Based on the previously submitted documentation and the opinions of the competent authorities, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of the Federation estimated that there is no need to prepare an environmental impact study. They have the same attitude in the company Siniat – there will be no consequences.

“Now we got that environmental permit, because the plan was adopted. Now there is a further procedure, the mining project and the opening of the mine. A factory is planned as part of it. It is gypsum, a natural raw material, practically stone. It cannot have an impact on the environment in any way”,  claims Esad Mahmutović, director of Siniat

In the settlement of Brešići, near the planned quarry, there was already a smaller one. This is precisely why opinions are divided, and while the locals are complaining, the question arises whether there is a need to destroy nature in order to employ only twenty workers, since most of the work should be done by machines.

Source: akta.ba