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Preliminary results of the project General assessment of mine suspected areas in BiH

In the period 28-30 January 2020, in Hotel Holiday in Sarajevo, Workshops n the topic of Definition of Productivity Indicators and Resources Required for the Implementation of the Land Release Method, and Development of the Medium-Term Land Release Action Plan were held with presented preliminary results of project General assessment of mine suspected areas in BiH .

The project is funded through the Instrument for Stability and Peace of the European Union and jointly implemented by the teams of the BiH Mine Action Center, as leading operational organizations and its project partners Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Norwegian People's Aid NGO.
The main objective of the project is to create a clearer picture of the remaining suspected areas in our country, by analyzing existing data and updating it, which will serve as a basis for better planning of mine action projects in the coming period, but in a much more efficient and effective way than in the previous years.
During the Workshops, the importance of cooperation of institutions at all levels was emphasized, as well as the contribution and engagement of both the non-governmental and commercial sectors involved in dealing with the remaining mines and other explosive devices left behind the war.
Workshops were attended by representatives of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC), BiH Armed Forces, NGO Norwegian People's Aid, Federal Civil Protection Administration, RS Civil Protection Administration, EUFOR, HO Pro Vita Mostar, Mine Detection Training Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina (MDDC) and Mine Advisory Group (MAG), NGO Stop Mines, NHO In Demining, UEM Ltd., and Watch Mine Association.
In the last 18 months of this project, 128 municipalities have been processed on the area of ​​1056 km2, as a result of which 30,000 evidence of mine suspected areas that have been examined. All newly collected data on mine contamination in endangered communities have been properly mapped and recorded in the evidence registry and central database, while all MSP tasks (480 in total) have been adapted to the new Land Release approach as a more efficient and effective method of dealing with mine contamination in the coming period.
It should be emphasized that the realization of this project is also the basis for the preparation of a new request of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the extension of the deadline for the next five years (2025), in line with the Convention on the Banning of Landmines (” Ottawa Convention ”), which should be submitted by 1 March 2020, as well as a medium-term action plan for land release, without the use of classic cleaning and technical survey methods.
According to the existing Mine Action Strategy, in order to reach a landmine-free country by the mentioned deadline, it is necessary to maintain at the same level funding from international sources and to increase it from domestic sources.

In the last few years, a new method of land release called Land Release has begun to be applied in BiH, aiming to define and free up as much land as possible in as little time as possible. The objective of this method is to use existing targeted technical survey procedures to verify existing information and to gather new information to ultimately define the actual landmines to be cleared and to clear the remaining portion of the land from suspected mines and to hand it over to end users.
In the 24 years following the conflict, there are still 8,050 suspected hazardous areas of 995.87km2 and 917 confirmed hazardous areas of 22.14km2.
Micro-locations contaminated with landmines / explosive ordnance / cluster munitions directly affect the safety of 545,603 inhabitants or 15% of the total population of BiH.
In the last five years, Bosnia and Herzegovina has managed to free up a total of 158.5 km2, destroying 8,992 mines and 9,992 other explosive remnants of the war.
During 2019, 926 PP mines, 24 PT mines, 112 KB ammunition and 406 UXO pieces were found and destroyed. BHMAC survey teams placed 1,177 urgent marking signs at 151 locations.
Currently, there are  26 mine action organizations accredited in our country, employing 1,200 people who have accreditation for mine action activities and proper licences.
1766 victims (1996-2019), of which 617 were fatal; 802 were injured; 347- unknown
Unfortunately, last year there were two demining accidents, with 3 injured  and 2 killed deminers , while there were no civilian casualties.

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