The road distance between Dubrovnik and Trebinje is roughly 30 kilometres.
The mayor sent the request to the chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ministerial council, Zoran Tegeltija, on Friday following the adoption of a memorandum by Bosnia’s Council of Ministers and the government of Serbia on the future cooperation with the aim of implementing the project of Trebinje Airport.
Franković recalls that apart from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are also signatories to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (informally called the Espoo Convention).
The document is a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) convention signed in Espoo, Finland, in 1991 that entered into force in 1997.
The Convention sets out the obligations of Parties—that is States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention—to carry out an environmental impact assessment of certain activities at an early stage of planning. It also lays down the general obligation of States to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries.
Franković says that the construction of airports is covered by the convention whereby the signatories are obliged to apply the principles and provisions of ESPO as well as of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
“Therefore we express dissatisfaction with the current course of action and with the absence of initiative for dialogue…concerning this environmentally important issue,” writes the mayor of the southernmost Croatian city.
Dubrovnik insists on the immediate suspension of the project until all the fulfillment of the requirements under the ESPO convention and SEA protocol.
According to the available information, the future airport should be situated in a Karst area and on soil permeable to water in the Talež settlement in the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, just eight kilometres of the source of the River Ombla.
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