Bosnia and Herzegovina is heavily contaminated with landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW), including cluster munition remnants (CMR), as a result of the conflict that took place 1992–1995.
Many years upon resolving war conflict, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still the most heavily landmine contaminated country in Europe. Most of the suspected hazardous areas are located between former confrontation lines of all parties engaged during the conflict. Significant number of minefield records were reportedly never made or handed over, and many years after the end of the war overgrown vegetation at suspected areas pose additional challenges in implementation of demining activities.
The Norwegian People’s Aid has been running its HDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1996. At the beginning, the Programme worked in the Tuzla area, in support of the NPA Reconstruction Programme. In 1998, the focus shifted to the Sarajevo Canton, and the majority of the NPA Mine Action assets worked in the Sarajevo Canton from 1998 to 2003. At present, the Programme works in both the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the Republika Srpska (RS).
The Norwegian People's Aid HDP has been continuously active since 1996. It encompasses survey, marking and clearance of the areas contaminated with mines and other explosive remnants of war, as well as destruction of explosive ordnances across Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In parallel to these activities the project entitled “Support to Mine Action: Country Assessment of mine suspected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2018-2019” is currently being implementing jointly by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) and the Armed Forces of BiH (AF BH), funded by the European Union through the European Union's Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). The aim of the project is to increase the efficiency of Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the implementation of an improved overall contamination assessment. This will provide a new basis for planning of mine action in accordance with the Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025 and prepare a final request for fulfilling the obligations under Article 5 of the Ottawa Convention.
Humanitarian demining in BiH is supported by numerous donors, the majority of funding coming from the governments of Norway, Germany and Switzerland through the Norwegian People's Aid Head Office in Oslo, Norway.
The engagement of the Norwegian People's Aid in Bosnia and Herzegovina in humanitarian demining has been focused on resolving the issues important for post-war recovery and development of the country.