Una National Park, which was established 9 years ago, is one of its kind in the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it represents a key factor for the tourist development of the Una-Sana Canton. It attracts more and more nature lovers every year.
The most deserving for its branding and a good word in the country and the region is the management of the Una National Park led by director Amarildo Mulic. The best proof for that is the fact that the National Park Una received the plaque for the best tourist-business project in the year of 2017 within the official academy that was held in Cazin on the occasion of the Day of Europe, and Amarildo Mulic, the director of the National Park Una, received the plaque for a remarkable contribution to the development and promotion of tourism in BiH.
Considering that tourism is a second branch of the economy globally, right behind the automotive and oil industries, everything is indicating that BiH, and especially the Una-Sana Canton, which is also known as the Green Canton due to its forests, rivers and other natural beauties, have great potential and opportunity for development through this branch of the economy.
The Una National Park as the number one destination in the western part of BiH, together with its partners from Zagreb, recently created one idea or the vision for the development of the continental riviera of the spring of Una River in Suvaja that is located in the Republic of Croatia, up to Sava River. All of this was conceived on the principle of sustainable tourism and development and under the name “Unaland – Land of Water Magic”.
“We put the code name “Project 424” considering the length of Una River of 212 kilometers and we said that Una Riviera has 424 kilometers of coastline that we all have to protect together.
Therefore, the main goal is to protect and preserve the beauty of the continental Riviera, but also, to use all of its potentials and use them for economic development. The project is still in the phase of the idea and we are now gathering all interested parties: the institutions, cities, municipalities, cantons, ministries, business subjects and the non-governmental sector in a way that we say to everyone that this is the direction of development that we should go for, and then work on creating certain projects under which we will develop the vision, or the conceptual direction of the development of the continental riviera on the basis of the bilateral, trilateral and multilateral relations. This represents a long-term vision of the development, which is made of series of small projects and steps,” stated Mulic.
Una National Park is located in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, mainly in the area of Bihac municipality and to a lesser extent in the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac and Drvar – it belongs to the Una-Korana plateau. The Park encompasses valley of the river Una, the canyon of the river Unac, right tributary of Una all the way to the river Krka in the west and the orographic slopes of the mountains Pljesevica, Grmeč and Osječenica.
Local population has always been aware of the exceptional value of the area in which they live and the threats that exist which could infringe its fundamental values therefore the vision about this area being proclaimed protected area was created decades ago.
This area represents a unique natural complex in this part of Europe, valuable for the preservation of the overall landscape and biological diversity.
Una River is a compound of valuable natural resources, diverse and preserved natural landscapes of exceptional beauty, rich cultural and historical heritage and the local population aware of the values of the area in which they live. Preservation and protection of these values for future generations is a fundamental determinant for sustainable development of authentic local traditional activities such as fishing, hunting, forestry and agriculture. The same applies to the introduction of new activities such as tourism, recreation, education and scientific research, through which local population builds opportunities for better quality of life and self develops together in harmony with nature.
The results of the Feasibility Study from 2005 undeniably presented a need for the protection of this area. Suggested category of protection was the National Park level, which later was accepted by the local community and authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2008, Una National Park was established after the enactment of the Law on Una National Park. The Park covers 19.800 hectares of which most are under the territory of the municipality of Bihac. 13.500 hectares are in the regime of strict and aimed protection, while 6.300 hectares are under development regime. The Law defines boarders, regulates issues of protection, promotion and its usage, management of the National Park, misdemeanor offenses and administrative measures for non-compliance with this law.