• English

Workshop highlights benefits of UNECE Water Convention for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

On 1 November 2013, in Skopje, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia organized a workshop on the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). The workshop concluded that accession to the Water Convention would be beneficial for the country and further steps in that direction should be taken by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.

“Almost all waters in our country are transboundary, which makes it especially important for us to ensure good conditions for their proper management”, highlighted Mr. Abdilaqim Ademi, Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, in opening remarks. The workshop would contribute to the efforts undertaken by the country in implementing the EU water-related legislation and the Water Convention, Mr. Ademi observed, noting that “the Convention offers an excellent opportunity for the enhancement of cooperation with our neighbours”.

The workshop brought together over 40 representatives of government authorities and non‑governmental organizations. Discussion focused on the legal and practical implications of accession by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Water Convention and the benefits offered by the Convention’s institutional platform for cooperation, as well as the complementary roles of the Convention and the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive.

At the workshop, international experts from Parties to the Convention (Estonia and Serbia) shared their experiences in implementing the Convention and presented good practices for cooperation on transboundary waters. The national experts described the significant progress made by the country in the last few years in transposing the EU Water Framework Directive and other directives on water resources management into its national legislation. Recent successes in intensifying cooperation on the Ohrid and Prespa Lakes and the extended Drin River Basin were also presented.

The workshop was organized with the organizational support from the United Nations Development Programme. The recently published Guide to Implementing the Water Convention was the key background document for the workshop.

For further information please visit: http://www.unece.org/env/water/workshop-on-the-convention_2013.html

Contact information:

Iulia Trombitcaia, UNECE
Tel.: +41 (0)22 917 3332
E-mail: iulia.trombitcaia@unece.org

Note to editors:

The Water Convention of 1992, in force since 1996, aims to strengthen national measures and transboundary cooperation for the protection and ecologically sound management of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters. Thirty-eight countries and the European Union are Parties to the Convention.

The Guide to Implementing the Water Convention published in 2013 (see http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=33657&L=0) constitutes a commentary to the Convention’s provisions, providing explanations of the legal, procedural, administrative, technical and practical aspects of the Convention’s requirements for appropriate implementation.