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The Drin Memorandum of Understanding

The political leadership responds.

The Ministers of the water and environment management competent ministries of the Drin Riparians i.e. Albania, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo* and Montenegro signed in Tirana on 25 November 2011, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Management of the Extended Transboundary Drin Basin (Drin MoU). The Drin MoU provides the political framework for and defines the context of cooperation among the Drin Riparians.


The Strategic Shared Vision for the management of the Drin Basin, as developed in the framework of the Drin Dialogue, forms the Objective of the Drin MoU:

“To promote joint action for the coordinated integrated management of the shared water resources in the Drin Basin, as a means to safeguard and restore to the extent possible the ecosystems and the services they provide, and to promote sustainable development across the Drin Basin”.

As means for the attainment of the Shared Vision, the MoU identifies the main transboundary issues[GA(1]  affecting sustainable development in the entire Drin Basin or in one or more of its Sub-Basins.  


The Parties to the MoU agreed to undertake concrete short-, medium- and long-term actions to address these issues, towards the integrated management of the Basin; the preparation of an Integrated Drin Basin Management Plan is the long-term objective. [GA(2] These actions include:

  • 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;
  • Establishing conditions for a sustainable use of water and other natural resources;
  • Developing cooperation and measures to minimize flooding especially in the lower parts of the Drin Basin;
  • Improving management and appropriate disposal of solid wastes;
  • Decreasing nutrient pollution deriving from untreated or poorly treated wastewater discharges and unsustainable agricultural practices;
  • Decreasing pollution from hazardous substances such as heavy metals and pesticides;
  • Minimizing effects of hydro-morphologic interventions that alter the nature of the hydrologic system and the supported ecosystems, resulting in their deterioration.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) working in the framework of the Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process support the implementation of the Drin MoU. The UNECE Water Convention and the EU Water Framework Directive provide the legislative and policy framework.

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