Bosnia Herzegovina Historic MOU: Tourism Plastic-Free

BOH SIgning

With Bosnia and Herzegovina taking a new lead in the Balkan region on the initiative of Croatia its gift to the world is remarkable. The goal is the elimination of plastic in oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes. Adopting the vision of Kristijan Curavić, the president of the Ocean Alliance Group. Group an MOU was signed between three stakeholders preparing heads of state for a unique summit planned for April 2025.

A Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation was signed on Friday in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina between the Foreign Trade Chamber of BiH and the Alliance for the Conservation of World Waters together with the International Chamber of Blue Economy Commerce (ICBEC).

At the signing event at the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its vice-president Ahmet Egrlić, the president of the Ocean Alliance Conservation Group (OACM) Kristijan Curavić and the director of ICBEC Nedžad Alić were present.

This agreement will enable the realization of activities of importance for the business community in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of developing new ecological and economic programs. It adds to the sustainable development agenda, using innovative and digital progress.

The MOU has already gotten attention in South Eastern Europe, specifically in North Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, and Kosovo.

This is a historic development for the region to ensure the corporate sector can develop its ECR policies closely aligned with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

The main focus is to prepare the region before the EU Plastic Ocean Summit in Croatia, to have countries become OACM members and allies for environmental preservation. This comes with opportunities for economic development specifically for the travel and tourism sectors.

Bosnia and Hercegovina, a small European nation known for its natural water resources will take a regional lead in this program.

The program will be presented to the US State Department and the OACM North American Alliance focusing on the United States, including Alaska and Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and Greenland.

“OACM is an organization that operates globally. We work on projects in countries all over the world, on all continents. We are glad to be present in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our goal is to initiate the cleaning and certification of all water areas, rivers, lakes, and seas- anywhere on this planet.”, said Ocean Alliance Group chief Kristijan Curavić.

He added, “This is an opportunity for Bosnia and Herzegovina(BiH) to become a safe “plastic-free” continental and marine tourist destination.

It’s also an opportunity for BiH and our entire region to be part of an international structure that sets development trends in the economic, ecological, and social sectors. This will be communicated at our upcoming summit in April next year. An important goal of course is to attract tourism investments for the country.”

“In enabling a stronger connection between the public and corporate sector, and include other economic entities, members of OACM are in for a win for everyone.”

a green globe with white text

Nedžad Alić, director of the International Chamber of Blue Economy Commerce (ICBEC) added, that such a unique opportunity will manifest itself as a crucial sustainability factor for the national economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

ICEBC CEO Mr Damir Blaskovic said he was in communication with the Chamber of Business in Switzerland. He believes that this collaboration will impact the entire European Union (EU) region.

“It has been decades of failure to connect the corporate sector to collaborate with government in environmental preservation. Now we have created and built through an innovation sustainable tool and mechanisms that can ensure mutual benefits to all stakeholders.”, Blaskovic said.

Kristijan Curavic is looking forward to the EU ETIS Summit known as the Plastic Ocean Summit in April 2025 hosted by the Government of his home country Croatia.

Curavic expects this new concept will be presented to heads of state he envisioned attending his upcoming summit.

“The era of greenwashing policies might come to an end due to these integrated sustainability tools with the ability to physically minimize the plastic in the water,” Kristijan Curavic said. Kristian is a world record diver himself.

The Ocean Alliance is also a partner with the World Tourism Network.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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