On request of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (MoFTER BiH) a DRR-Team visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2016 to advice on flood early warning systems, flood risk management plans and water governance. The mission turned out to be the starting point of several collaborations between BiH and the Netherlands.

The DRR-Team advised to better delineate responsibilities and the development of mechanisms to come to an effective exchange of data and technical information. The water sector in BiH can strongly benefit from the initiatives on flood early warning systems, flood risk mapping and flood risk management plans. In this perspective it is worth exploring if water sector institutions in the Netherlands would be interested to take on a long-term advisory role to the Bosnian water sector, not only bringing in technical expertise but also demonstrating the OECD’s trust and engagement principles in good water governance.

Both MoFTER and the Netherlands embassy in Sarajevo have stated during the DRR-Team mission and afterwards that they would like to see a MoU between Bosnia and the Netherlands for G2G cooperation in the water sector.

In follow up of the DRR-Team mission a studytour of Bosnian stakeholders to the Netherlands was organized in October 2016 through RVO PSD apps funding. Regional Water Authority Rivierenland expressed their interest in a long term relationship with three Bosnian water agencies and ministries. The themes for cooperation between BiH and NL were discussed during this study tour. For more information about the studytour, please contact Inge de Weerd, NWP, i.deweerd@nwp.nl.

In January 2017 a delegation of experts from Regional Water Authority Rivierenland visited Bosnia and Herzegovina and reviewed the standards and procedures used for monitoring and maintenance of the existing dikes and flood prevention structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina and gave recommendations for improvements of those standards and procedures.

Field trip in Bosnia. Part of study tour Waterschap Rivierenland, January 2017

Letter of Intent
The Dutch and Bosnian Herzegovinian counterparts singed a Letter of Intent for the long term cooperation, in the presence of H.E. Minister of MoFTER Mirko Sarovic and H.E. Ambassador of the Netherlands Jurriaan Kraak. The support from the Netherlands, mainly Regional Water Authority Rivierenland, concerns technical issues: construction, monitoring and maintenance of embankments and other flood protection infrastructure and facilities; flood risk management planning; implementation of sustainable solutions for urban waste water facilities; financing of the water sector.

Dutch and BiH counterparts singed the Letter of Intent for the long term cooperation,
in the presence of H.E. Minster of MOFTER Mirko Sarovic and H.E. Ambassador of the Netherlands Jurriaan Kraak.

Financing of the cooperation will on the short run be organized with Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) instrument of the European Commission and a fund of the NWB Bank of the Netherlands. At the same time a EU twinning application will be started for the long run.

The DRR-Team mission and the follow up have been successful and are highly appreciated by the Bosnian water agencies and ministries.

Final conference scoping mission April 2016. From left to right: Winfried Pietersen, Boško Kenjić, ambassadeur Jurriaan Kraak and Fatima Krivosija

Final conference scoping mission April 2016

Study visit of 3 water agencies of Bosnia to the Netherlands. Fieldtrip with Regional Water Authority Rivierenland.