Bosnia and Herzegovina, like all other countries in the world, is not immune to natural and artificial disasters regardless of their origins, type and impact. Disasters have the potential to destroy years of investments, development and efforts and potentially lead to devastation of the assets intended for the priorities, such as education, health, construction and other critical infrastructure projects.

Background: 2014 Floods

The disastrous floods that struck Bosnia and Herzegovina in May of 2014 resulted in several tens of casualties, causing destruction of the public and private infrastructure and damages to hundreds of thousands of the households. More than 70 local communities were affected by the disaster, suffering damages, and 90,000 people were temporarily displaced, while more than 40,000 sought refuge in public or private shelters or moved temporarily to relatives or friends. According to the findings of the Assessment of Recovery Needs conducted by the UNDP in BiH, the floods from May of 2014 triggered more than 3,000 landslides throughout the country, causing destruction of more than 2,000 homes that are yet to be reconstructed and disrupting the existence. Around 150 landslides caused direct damages to the main road routes and transportation systems, disrupting economic activity and humanitarian aid delivery and cutting off numerous communities. Moreover, it is believed that 51 reported landslides in the suspected minefields led to shifting of those minefields. There are still many intact homes in the immediate vicinity of the landslides that are under the constant threat of their activation.

Geodetic data for mitigating climate change

Geospatial geodetic data are a very vital element of the data required, if not the most important one. They need to be provided through the efforts on national and international level to ensure a proper tool for dealing with climate change and mitigating natural disaster risks, and timely and comprehensive decision-making on spatial management at all levels of the government. Observation of the change in geodetic measurements forms a basis for making better forecasts for future climate change scenarios. The objective is to provide decision- and policy-makers with the relevant data and information to be able to take the necessary actions in a timely fashion.

In order to do this, we need a precise geodetic reference framework that is determined based on multiple types of geodetic techniques. The geodetic authorities in BiH are unable to form on their own future scenarios in dealing with climate change and mitigating natural disaster risks, but nobody can form such scenarios without precise geodetic data as the basis. A generally poor state of the geodetic infrastructure and even a lack of some basic geodetic networks have compelled the geodetic authorities in BiH to start an intervention in this field. A modern geodetic infrastructure linked to the neighbouring countries and European networks is a basis for all types of surveys, allowing precise, reliable and fast measurements in real time for primarily engineering and environmental purposes. The gravimetric measurements will also contribute to research on climate change, natural disasters and other phenomena that have a major impact on the society.

The project will contribute to improving the environmental management by providing improved, more accessible and more reliable information on the natural environment, allowing more efficient and more accurate spatial use planning, while a special impact is expected in the spheres of dealing with climate change and mitigating natural disaster risks. This will have a direct impact on policy planning and development to improve the state of the environment. Actions to protect the vulnerable environment and preserve the valuable natural conditions will be facilitated by knowing the exact geodetic information, contributing to limited impact on the environment, better natural resources management and preparation to act under natural disaster circumstances, such as floods.

Harmonised spatial information for dealing with climate change

Unified geodetic and other spatial data sharing between the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and with the EU member countries is a step toward meeting a portion of the EU requirements on minimizing adverse impacts on the environment. The geodetic authorities in both entities received from their competent Governments a duty and a mandate to be the coordinators and leaders of the spatial data infrastructure establishment and implementation of the INSPIRE Directive, which is an additional requirement for the unified geodetic data to be available to all stakeholders. Capacity building of the geodetic authorities in BiH with regard to dealing with climate change and mitigating natural disaster risks will facilitate decision-making at all levels of the government and have a major impact on the society as a whole.

Project activities

  1. Data collection:
  • Levelling measurements and processing
  • Gravimetric measurements and processing
  • Analysis of all data collected
  • Computation of the geoid surface
  • CORS network improvements

      2.  Roll-out of Digital Archive IT systems

Previous cooperation

The Norwegian Mapping Authority also cooperated with The Administration for Geodetic and Real Property Affairs of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Administration for Geodetic and Real Property Affairs of the Republika Srpska from 2012-2017. Read about the completed project here.


Agreements for Gravimetric measurements and reconnaissance and stabilization of benchmark

January 31st, 2019: Two major agreements for Gravimetric measurements and reconnaissance and stabilization of benchmarks for Bosnia Herzegovina were signed at a project steering committee meeting in Trebinje.

  1. High precision leveling (HPL3) project including a gravimetric survey of the HPL3 network and a detailed gravimetric survey
  2. Vertical Reference System – Establishing a Levelling Network of High Accuracy 3 – Reconnaissance and stabilization of other benchmarks and cleaning the existing working benchmarks of the LHA2

HR capacity building Workshop in Mostar

April 2nd–4th 2019: A workshop with the aim of HR capacity building by supporting the implementation of HRstrategies of both geodetic authorities was held in Mostar, April 2-4, 2019. The workshop was led by the Norwegian Mapping Authority’s HR Director Hans Petter Karlsen and HR Advisor Anne Kristin Frivold, who held presentations on our HR position, the six paradoxes facing HR, strategic competence management methods,  and experiences with conflict management.

Representatives from the geodetic authorities carried out the joint practical work of presenting and evaluating the current state of HR through the six paradoxes and an exercise for strategic competence management. All participants considered the workshop as extremely useful and expressed the desire to organize more workshops on HR and conflict management topics.

Synergy between the overlapping donor projects has proved to be extremely beneficial, and has given the geodetic authorities the opportunity to relate to several experiences. It is a common conclusion that this kind of cooperation should be further developed in all other areas where the projects support the improvement of land administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Study Visit from the geodetic administrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On May 28th 2019 representatives from The Administration for Geodetic and Real Property Affairs of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FGU) and the Republic Authority for Geodetic and Real Property Affairs of the Republika Srpska (GARS) visited the Norwegian Mapping Authority to see and learn how property information is archived in Norway, and to exchange knowledge and experiences on implementation of a Digital Archive.