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News UNECE supports first Meeting of the Parties to Drin River Basin treaty

On 28 May 2013 in Tirana the five Drin River Riparians held the first Meeting of the Parties to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a Shared Strategic Vision for the Sustainable Management of the Drin River Basin. At the meeting, high-level representatives from the five Riparians decided on an action programme to strengthen their cooperation and to address urgent issues, such as flood management and improved monitoring and exchange of information, and outlined other priority steps to be taken, including raising public awareness and involving stakeholders in the management of the basin.

Among the competing uses for the water resources in the Drin Basin, which the Shared Strategic Vision aims to address, an important component is hydropower, with major dams and associated power stations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and in Albania where hydropower accounts for more than 85 per cent of the total electricity supply. In addition, the basin faces a number of threats to its water quality, such as pollution from agriculture and discharges of untreated wastewater from cities. The exceptional biodiversity and endemic species of the Drin Basin are also under threat without improved and coordinated management of the ecosystem.

At the Meeting of the Parties, Riparians were represented by Fatmir Mediu, Minister of Environment, Forests and Water Administration of Albania; Shpetim Rudi, Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of Kosovo (United Nations administered region, Security Council resolution 1244); Maro Evangelidou, General Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Greece; Velizar Vojinovic, Assistant Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development of Montenegro; and Stevo Temelkovski, Deputy Minister of Environment and Physical Planning of the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia.

In advance of this first Meeting of the Parties, stakeholders met to discuss a US$ 4.5-million project, which will be an important contribution to the further cooperation in the basin. Among others, it will seek to improve the joint analysis and understanding of common problems and will set up demonstration projects on the benefits of sustainable development along the river and lakes in the basin. The project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) with UNECE as one of the executing agencies.

The Drin Dialogue, which was set up to look into the many competing interests and challenges facing Riparians, and which led to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, is facilitated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean. 

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information UNECE
Keyword(s) Drin River Basin
Geographical coverage Albania
News date 31/05/2013
Working language(s) ENGLISH