article_thumb_268_KWPFKVVNVHVBSOn 25 November 2011 in Tirana the five Drin River Riparians signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a Shared Strategic Vision for the Sustainable Management of the Drin River Basin to protect the shared water resources.

Fatmir Mediu, Minister of Environment, Forests and Water Administration, Albania; Abdilaqim Ademi, Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, The former Yugosla Republic of Macedonia; Ilir Mirena, Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Kosovo (United Nations administered region, Security Council resolution 1244); Andreas Andreadakis, Special Secretary for Water, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Greece, and Velizar Vojinovic, Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Montenegro, signed the Memorandum, which represents a significant step towards the development of transboundary cooperation in the “Extended” Drin River Basin.

The Shared Strategic Vision identifies the challenges at transboundary level and lays out the actions that need to be taken to address them, such as:

  • Improving access to comprehensive data and adequate information to fully understand the current state of the environment and the water resources and the hydrologic system (including surface, underground and coastal waters) as well as ecosystems of the Drin Basin;
  • Establish conditions for a sustainable use of water and other natural resources;
  • Develop cooperation and measures to minimise flooding especially in the lower parts of the Drin Basin;
  • Improve management and appropriate disposal of solid wastes;
  • Decrease nutrient pollution deriving from untreated or poorly treated wastewater discharges and unsustainable agricultural practices;
  • Decrease pollution from hazardous substances such as heavy metals and pesticides;
  • Minimise effects of hydro-morphologic interventions that alter the nature of the hydrologic system and the supported ecosystems, resulting in their deterioration.

The Shared Strategic Vision includes specific objectives in the short, medium and long term and institutes the Drin Core Group with representation from all Riparians to manage its implementation.

The signing took place during a Multi-stakeholder Consultation Meeting of the Drin Dialogue, with the participation of representatives of national, regional and local authorities, water users associations, academia, members from the private sector, NGOs as well as representatives of international organizations and donor agencies.

On the previous day (24 November 2011), the 5th Drin Core Group Meeting discussed the steps towards the implementation of the MoU, as well as MIO-ECSDE’s proposed Communication Activities, in support of the MoU realization.

Ms. Thomais Vlachogianni, who represents MIO-ECSDE in the Drin Core Group, briefly presented the baseline communication activities that should be undertaken the forthcoming period in order to:

  • ensure transparency in governance, accountability and public trust;
  • create the enabling environment for the acceptance and appropriate implementation of the Shared Vision and its implementation;
  • facilitate effective communication, enhance the visibility and exchange of information among all key stakeholders, as well as enhance coordination, both at the internal and external level;
  • strengthen the Dialogue with a view to foster stakeholder participation/engagement in the process, thus leading to consensus building and ownership of the outcomes.

Find more info on the Drin Dialogue process in the leaflet that has been developed by MIO-ECSDE.