U.S. Embassy Sarajevo’s BiH Hero of the Month is Professor Samir Lemeš, Chair of the Steering Board of “Eko-Forum Zenica” and Vice-Dean for Scientific Research at the University of Zenica Polytechnic Faculty. Along with over 25 years of academic experience and dozens of publications covering subjects ranging from 3D modeling techniques to environmental justice, Professor Lemeš has led civic engagement on air pollution issues in his hometown of Zenica for well over a decade.
“In order to solve the problem of air pollution in BiH, it is necessary for a large number of institutions, agencies and ministries at all levels of government to act in a coordinated manner, instead of shifting responsibility and looking for excuses. Respecting environmental laws, responsible spatial planning, and the application of the best available techniques are tools for reducing air pollution that have already yielded results in developed countries; they just need to be consistently implemented in BiH. A just transition from a dirty coal-based economy to a society that manages its resources sustainably can only be achieved by strengthening the accountability of our institutions and decision-makers,” Professor Lemeš commented.
Professor Lemeš’s tireless advocacy around research and raising awareness of air quality issues in BiH is a true inspiration to us. The U.S. Embassy is grateful for his work. We look forward to building on our cooperation with him and others around BiH who are tackling this systemic and widespread issue that seriously affects citizens’ health and requires well-coordinated and scientifically informed responses that serve the public interest, not the short-term interests of polluters.