Living well in harmony with the Drin (Act4Drin) is a CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) funded project led by MIO-ECSDE aiming at raising public awareness, enhancing knowledge and empowering NGOs to protect and conserve freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin.

The project’s activities are built around and upon a two-fold approach. On the one hand, activities seek to empower local and national NGOs in effectively and meaningfully promoting Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) with a special focus on the protection, conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin. On the other, considerable emphasis is given to expanding people’s awareness, especially of youth, on the intrinsic values of freshwater habitats and species of the region and to promoting concrete, comprehensive and continuous actions towards safeguarding the biodiversity of the Drin River Basin and its invaluable ecosystem services.

Follow the progress of the project activities here: http://www.act4drin.net

The Act4Drin project aims at raising public awareness, enhancing knowledge and empowering NGOs to protect and conserve freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin.

  • Carrying out a mapping exercise to identify all local/national NGOs interested in working on issues related to IWRM and freshwater biodiversity conservation in the region, as well as a preliminary assessment of their needs.
  • Organizing a capacity building activity targeted to local/national NGOs, tailor- made to their needs with regards to IWRM and freshwater biodiversity conservation actions.
  • Developing an inventory of freshwater biodiversity conservation and restoration examples applicable to the region’s specificities to be used as a source of inspiration by local and national NGOs to seek funding opportunities and develop their own projects on the ground.
  • Networking meetings with local/national NGOs aiming to effectively involve them in water resources management processes carried out in transboundary settings, such as the implementation of the Shared Vision for the sustainable management of the Drin River Basin and the corresponding Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Drin Riparian countries in 2011.
  • Launching an awareness raising campaign promoting the protection and conservation of the Drin River Basin.
  • Developing a Drin Travelogue and short films to raise awareness and a sense of ownership of local communities and the wider public for their common natural heritage and to send out a strong message on how local communities play a crucial role in protecting and conserving this biodiversity hotspot.
  • Organizing a spring school targeted to youth from Drin riparian countries and utilizing the project demo site as an outdoor ‘laboratory’ to carry out relevant educational activities.

The Lead Partner of the Act4Drin is MIO-ECSDE.

A key partner of the project is Kawka Production (http://www.kawkaproduction.com), a documentary film production company from Slovenia experienced in communicating nature protection concepts, which will substantially strengthen the awareness raising related component of the project by developing and disseminating in close collaboration with MIO-ECSDE a documentary film and short clips, highlighting the unique wealth of biodiversity in the Drin River Basin. The key threats it faces will also be included, alongside a strong message on how local communities can play a crucial role in protecting and conserving their common natural heritage.

In this project, MIO-ECSDE is closely working with the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES, http://www.mes.org.mk), as they are implementing a ‘sister’ project entitled “Water for lakes, bogs, streams and people on Jablanica Mountain”, which aims to demonstrate how NGOs can implement sustainable water resources and biodiversity conservation projects on the ground.

Last but not least, three grassroot organizations, namely EDEN  from Albania, GREEN HOME from Montenegro and BIOSFERA from FYR Macedonia are involved in all phases of project implementation, as associate partners, and act as the national ambassadors in promoting the project’s objectives and results in their respective countries.

The two-year-long journey of the Act4Drin project aiming at raising public awareness, enhancing knowledge and empowering NGOs to protect and conserve freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin came to its end, leaving behind a rich and lasting legacy of high quality outputs and successful results.

More achievements than those planned in its inception were achieved, such as the Act4Drin NGOs Alliance, the Act4Drin Young Ambassadors and the Act4Drin Promoters, demonstrating clearly the type of impact and momentum the project has mobilised. It may be the end of the project but it is the beginning of a collective endeavour towards safeguarding the Drin, a place where one sees nature in its magnificence, where life and abundance bind together the river’s extraordinary elements in harmony and balance.

The main outputs and outcomes of the project are:

featuredThe ActDrin travelogue ‘Living well in harmony with the Drin’

Launched today, the Act4Drin documentary immerses us in a fact-filled yet emotional travelogue along the Drin River Basin, the connecting body of five Riparian countries. It captures the outstanding wealth of habitats and species and highlights the crucial role of local communities in protecting and conserving this biodiversity hotspot. This documentary brings forward the core message of the Act4Drin which is all about “Living in harmony with the Drin”. The Drin River Basin is full of life, housing an exceptional wealth of biodiversity, providing important habitats for many species of fauna and flora, while delivering a steady stream of benefits to its residents. Whether we consciously realize it or not, freshwater ecosystems together with every bit of biodiversity they support and the ecosystem services they provide, are intimately interwoven with our ‘harmonious’ existence and welfare. You can enjoy the Act4Drin travelogue here

act4drin-pages-1_featuredThe Act4Drin booklet showcasing NGO actions to protect and conserve freshwater ecosystems

This booklet is a tribute to the extent and diversity of concrete NGO actions in promoting integrated water resources management and freshwater biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean. This publication showcases the added value and particular strengths that the NGO community brings to environmental governance, such as leadership, creativity, flexibility, entrepreneurship and capacity for vision and long-term thinking.

The publication features a collection of actions undertaken by ALBAFOREST, SPP, MES, DPPVN, MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES, GREEN HOME, PPNEA, INCA, GRASHNICA and MIO-ECSDE. It was developed by MIO-ECSDE (Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development – a Federation of 130 Mediterranean environmental NGOs) within the framework of the framework of the Act4Drin project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

Find the publication here

Act4Drin_f_imageThe Act4Drin publication on the natural wealth and legacy of the Drin River Basin

For the first time ever a multilingual (five languages) publication that highlights the exceptional wealth of freshwater biodiversity of the Drin River Basin has been produced via a collective effort of the region’s civil society. It aims at raising public awareness on the value of our common natural wealth and ultimately triggering individual or collective actions towards safeguarding the basin’s biodiversity and its invaluable ecosystem services.

This publication concretely displays the commitment and solidarity of thirteen environmental NGOs of the region to protect and conserve the Drin River Basin.

Find the publication here

At Duf Water Falls in Mavrovo National ParkThe unique transboundary Act4Drin Spring School 2016

A first of its kind transboundary Spring School entitled ‘The natural wealth and legacy of the Drin River Basin: from field observations and knowledge to collective actions towards protecting freshwater ecosystems’ brough together some 28 natural sciences students from the Drin Riparian countries in a joint quest for knowledge along the Drin. All Act4Drin Spring School participants committed themselves into becoming the Act4Drin Ambassadors. Immerse yourself in this recent collaborative experience and access all training materials at the following link (here) including the inspiring contributions from the brilliant participants of the Act4Drin Spring School!

Drin Day 2016The Drin Day 2015 & 2016 celebrations

Within the framework of the Act4Drin, wide-ranging celebrations were organized along the Drin River Basin in 2015 and 2016. These were the 2nd and 3rd editions of an annual initiative dedicated to raising the awareness of local communities and the wider public about the natural wealth and legacy of the Drin River Basin. The Drin Day celebrations brought together hundreds of participants in monitoring & research activities; networking events for NGOs & local communities; school students’ exhibitions; boat trips; cleanup actions; educational activities; interactive games; contests; awareness raising campaign on social media and so much more…Within Drin Day 2016 the Act4Drin project joined forces with the the Drin Project financed by the Global Environment Facility. The initiative was implemented in support and within the framework of the Drin Corda Process under the coordination of MIO-ECSDE and GWP-Med.

ACT4DRINThe Act4Drin NGO Alliance

Thirteen NGOs from the five Drin riparians joined forces in early 2016 to form the Act4Drin Alliance aiming to protect and conserve freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin. The Act4Drin Alliance is a coalition of NGOs aiming to act as a forum for coordinating and strengthening NGO participation in the upcoming policy developments in the region driven by the Drin MoU implementation process, enhancing cooperation and networking among and between regional, national and grassroot NGOs in the Drin Basin working on sustainable water resources management and freshwater biodiversity protection/conservation. The Act4Drin Alliance concretely displays the mutual trust, solidarity and strong commitment built among NGOs in the region towards the protection of the natural wealth and legacy of the Drin River. Read more here

DSC_0465_lowThe Act4Drin “Echoes from the Drin” short films triplet

The “Echoes from the Drin” short films triplet (Whispers of Water, Reflections of Life, Impressions of Humans) bring forward the core message of the Act4Drin which is all about “Living in harmony with the Drin”. The Drin River Basin is full of life, housing an exceptional wealth of biodiversity, providing important habitats for many species of fauna and flora, while delivering a steady stream of benefits to its residents. Whether we consciously realize it or not, freshwater ecosystems together with every bit of biodiversity they support and the ecosystem services they provide, are intimately interwoven with our ‘harmonious’ existence and welfare.

Enjoy the short films triplet here

MIO-ECSDE/Act4Drin workshop in Lin, 2015Environmental NGOs solidarity display in SW Balkans

The Act4Drin project brought to the town of Lin, Albania, on the shore of Lake Ohrid, some 28 representatives from 18 environmental NGOs active in the SW Balkans (28-29 April 2015). Everyone engaged in a collective and collaborative learning process on integrated water resources management and freshwater biodiversity conservation in transboundary settings. Participants had the opportunity to take stock of their experiences on a wide range of issues including technical & research aspects, policy & advocacy, education & awareness raising, participatory science, etc. Intensive discussions and reflections resulted in a set of lessons learned and the identification of promising practices, which are showcased in the Act4Drin booklet.

Read more here

drinAct4Drin survey stock taking of environmental NGO capacities in the Drin

Act4Drin ran a one-month long survey targeted to environmental NGOs in the Drin riparian countries. The survey aimed to take stock of NGO capacities in promoting integrated water resources management and freshwater biodiversity conservation in transboundary settings. The key findings of this survey can be of use for future capacity building activities to ensure that they are tailor made to the real needs of the region’s NGOs.

Access the main findings of this survey here

news_featuredAct4Drin survey on the prevailing public views and perceptions towards freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin

An Act4Drin survey was carried out aiming to shed light on the prevailing public views and perceptions towards freshwater ecosystems in the Drin River Basin. This survey was prepared by MIO-ECSDE and was a pre-assignment of the Act4Drin Spring School 2016, organized by MIO-ECSDE in collaboration and with the support of BIOSFERA, EDEN, MES, GREENHOME, GRASHNICHA, PPNEA, PROGEO, SOCA TRIPS and the University of Tirana, under the auspices of the University of Korca. Some twenty six bright natural sciences students from the Drin Riparian countries, namely Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece ran the 2-week survey from 22 April to 6 May 2016, targeting mainly the local communities of the Drin River Basin. You can access the main findings of the survey here

Title: Living well in harmony with the Drin

Funding source: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Project Duration: March 2014 – May 2016

Project budget: 200.000 US$

 

 

  • Level of completion 100%

For more info: Thomais Vlachogianni, Act4Drin Project Leader, vlachogianni(at)mio-ecsde.org