I don’t even think there are environmental politics here! A paper on youth influence and the coal mining industry in Bosnia & Herzegovina

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi; Lunds universitet/Humanekologi

Abstract: Bosnia & Herzegovina is the 27th largest exporter of coal-fired energy in the world. Multiple organizations are warning about the dangerous rates of air polluting substances in many of the country’s larger cities. Youths in Bosnia & Herzegovina feel alienated from decision-making, making it hard for them to express their voice and concerns. This paper is looking at the situation from a human ecologist standpoint, studying how air pollution, the coal industry, and the youths are interconnected through economic, political, and societal structures. This paper aims to answer the question: How do a group of young inhabitants from a coal-producing region in Bosnia & Herzegovina experience their influence on the country’s climate impact through their coal mining industry, and how are they involved in change processes within the subject? Interviewing young people from the most coal-producing areas in the country, I wanted to showcase their perceived reality. Using different sociologist and human ecologist theories, this research presents a snapshot of youth’s reality in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The key finding of this paper is that youths in the country are hesitant to engage due to several factors, including lack of knowledge, social structures, and corruption. While they are most likely suffering an information incident, they are also part of a socially constructed denial. This research helps lift a young perspective into the debate and hopefully it can help to include youths in decision-making processes in the future.

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