As investors increasingly seek to exploit freshwater resources in the region through the construction of hydropower plants, activists and locals increasingly oppose these developments. However, while many struggle to stop these constructions, a small victory was claimed in Knezevo, when a small HPP in BiH was denied the permit to be constructed.
The Centre for Environment from Banja Luka, and the Kneževo organization for the protection of environment and nature reserves pointed at the irregularities involved in the construction of the MHE Ilomska plant, primarily the fact that the capacity of the plant had been increased since the environmental impact study.
In February 2018, it was reported that the Energy Regulator of Republika Srprska in BiH denied the permit to the developer due to environmental protection issues associated with the plans. As unveiled by those who opposed its construction, the company had increased the output enough for the entire project to require a new environmental study. Although the activists claimed that it was hard to stop the construction, they declared that the delays they achieved, through lawsuits and advocacy were aimed at stopping the investor’s will. The local organisation from Knezevo declared that the decision was encouraging, and that the small successful action was expected to improve the way regulations are legally applied to future investments in the sector and BiH.