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Towards a shared vision for the management of the Drin Basin: National Consultation Meeting in Montenegro

Published: 30 September 2011

Podgorica

Representatives of national, regional and local authorities, important economic sectors, water users associations, academia, private sector, NGOs as well representatives of international organizations and donor countries met on 28 April 2011, in Podgorica, Montenegro to discuss and elaborate on management issues, needs and actions for the sustainable management of the Drin Basin with Lake Skadar and the Bojana river as important parts of the basin in Montenegro.

The meeting was opened by ministers responsible for water management in the basin: H.E. Mr. Tarzan Milosevic, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Montenegro, H.E. Mr. Stevo Temelkoski, Deputy Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, FYR Macedonia, H.E. Mr. Spetim Rudi, Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Kosovo (U.N. administered region, S.C. Res. 1244) as well as by Bo Libert, Regional Adviser UNECE and by Prof. Michael Scoullos, Chairman, Global Water Partnership Mediterranean. The ministers expressed their strong support to the Drin Dialogue and development of the cooperation in the Drin basin.

The Montenegrin National Consultation Meeting was the third of the series of meetings within the Drin Dialogue.  A National Consultation Meeting was organized in November 2010 in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and a second in April 2011in Albania. A consultation meeting involving all countries sharing the basin will be organized later in November 2011.

In the National Consultation Meeting the main challenges in the Drin basin as well as possible responses was discussed. Water quality, development of tourism and hydropower were among the issues debated, as were the recurrent serious floods of recent years. The establishment of a joint commission to enhance transboundary cooperation for the sustainable management of the extended Drin basin was suggested as an important step to take.

On the 29th September the results of the national consultations was discussed with representatives from all Riparians of the river basin in the Drin Core Group. The Drin Core Group agreed on a text for a Memorandum of Understanding between the Riparians reflecting a Shared Strategic Vision for the joint management of the transboundary Drin basin. It is planned that this MoU will be signed by Ministers during a meeting in Tirana in the end of November.

 

Note to editors

The Drin Dialogue is a structured consultation process that aims to develop a shared vision among the riparians and stakeholders for the sustainable management of the Drin Basin. The Drin Dialogue is facilitated by UNECE and the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med) using the platform of the UNECE Water Convention and the Petersberg Phase II/Athens Declaration Process. It is financially supported by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The Drin Core Group with representatives from all Riparians is guiding the process to establish a Shared Strategic Vision for the sustainable management of the basin.

The Drin Basin covers a geographical area that includes Albania, Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo (U.N. administered region, S.C. Res. 1244)) and Montenegro. The Drin River is the “connecting body” of this water system, linking the lakes, wetlands, rivers and other aquatic habitats into a single ecosystem of major importance. The region is very rich in endemic species and exceptional in terms of biodiversity conservation, and so has great potential for the development of sustainable tourism.

The UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Water and International Lakes (Water Convention) is an important legal framework for transboundary water management in the pan-European region. Currently, 35 countries and the European Community are Parties to the Convention. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro are preparing for accession; Albania and Greece are already Parties.

The Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med) is a platform bringing together competent organizations working on water issues in the Mediterranean region. Created in 2002, this NGO promotes and exchanges knowledge on integrated water resources’ management for the sustainable use of the region’s water resources. GWP-Med is the technical secretariat of the Petersberg Phase II/Athens Declaration Process for Southeast Europe, a framework for the development of transboundary water cooperation in the region. For more information, see http://www.gwpmed.org

Contact information:

Bo Libert
UNECE Regional Adviser on Environment
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 2396
Email: bo.libert@unece.org

 


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