Land Use in the Republic of Srpska

Forests dominate the landscape, accounting for 1,309,785 hectares, of which 77% are state-owned. This makes the Republic of Srpska a vital player in the forestry industry.


The Republic of Srpska, located in the northern and eastern regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, covers an area of 24,641 square kilometers, excluding the Brčko District. The region plays a significant role in land use, with 2,505,300 hectares of land. Forests dominate the landscape, accounting for 1,309,785 hectares, of which 77% are state-owned. This makes the Republic of Srpska a vital player in the forestry industry. Additionally, 1,008,000 hectares are dedicated to agriculture, with 816,000 hectares suitable for cultivation, contributing significantly to the local and national economy.

 Balanced and strategic land use management is essential to address the challenges posed by landscape fires in the Republic of Srpska. By synergizing efforts to mitigate fire risks in uncultivated land and implementing robust forest fire prevention measures, the region can better protect its natural resources and promote a more fire-resilient and sustainable future. Collaborative action from all stakeholders is vital in achieving this goal.


Land use in the RS based on the land cover map and the method of use for the year 2017 (Source: The basis of the protection, use and arrangement of the agricultural land of the Republic of Srpska as a component of the land use planning process; Agricultural Institute of RS Banja Luka, Institute for Agrochemistry and Agroecology)

Forests and Forest Land

Forests cover 53% of the total area of the Republic of Srpska, around 1,3 million hectares, with 77% of this land owned by the Republic of Srpska. Forests are a valuable natural resource, with annual gross wood production reaching 3,259,000 m³. High-quality forests have increased in area, while coppice forests occupy 1% of the territory. The Republic of Srpska also houses forests within three National Parks and industrial forest plantations. The share of high forests in the total forests of Republic of Srpska is the highest (644,511 ha or 47.2%), while the coppice forests occupy 353.454 ha or 22.6% of the area. In the forests owned by Republic of Srpska , there are forests and forest lands of three National Parks (27,059 ha or 1% of territory of RS), and industrial forest plantations (7,383 ha). 

Forest area

million ha

Forests and forests land in the Republic of Srpska. Source: Town Planning Institute RS

Agricultural Land

Agricultural land in the Republic of Srpska encompasses 1,008,000 hectares, but there has been an increase in non-cultivated land, causing land degradation. Urbanization and transportation infrastructure development exert pressure on the environment, sometimes leading to construction on prime agricultural land. Abandonment of cultivation leads to forest invasion, increasing the risk of wildfires.

Agricultural land

million ha

Agricultural land, current condition. Source: Institute for urbanism of Republic of Srpska

Protected Areas

Republika Srpska has designated 73,038 hectares (2.96% of the territory) as protected areas, including two strict nature reserves, three national parks, and other categories. International agreements and conventions protect three separate areas, including a Ramsar site and a UNESCO natural resource of world importance.


Protected areas

thousand ha

Protected natural areas of the Republic of Srpska. Source: Institute for urbanism of Republika Srpska


Mined Areas

Landmines remain a significant concern due to the Bosnian Civil War’s legacy. Approximately 501 km² of land in Republika Srpska is still mined, posing threats to the population, including firefighting efforts. Landmine clearance efforts are ongoing, but progress has been slow.

Mined areas


Landscape Fire Management

The Republic of Srpska faces an increasing risk of landscape fires, primarily due to expanding uncultivated land and extensive forests. Sustainable forest management practices and proactive fire prevention strategies, including selective logging, help mitigate this risk. Collaboration among government agencies, local communities, and environmental organizations is crucial for comprehensive fire prevention and preparedness plans


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