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You are here: Home / News & Announcements / The GEF Drin Project: Contributing in the 30th Session of the Montenegrin National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management

The GEF Drin Project: Contributing in the 30th Session of the Montenegrin National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management

The National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, headed by H.E. the President of Montenegro, Mr. Filip Vujanović, convened in Podgorica, on 15 June 2016, to review the draft National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2030. The National Council also discussed issues and actions related to the protection and management of water resources and the coastal zone management in Montenegro.

Mr. Dimitris Faloutsos, in his capacity as Coordinator of the GEF project “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the extended Drin River Basin”, presented the project explaining that it provides the means for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the management of the Drin Basin (Drin MoU).

The National Council was kindly requested to provide guidance for the implementation of both the Drin MoU and the project acting as the Inter-ministerial Committee[1] for Montenegro. The National Council welcomed the request deciding to “support inter-ministerial consultations in Montenegro (…) for the implementation of the Drin MoU on the management in the extended Drin River Basin and the realization of the project (…), through the capacities of its permanent working groups, as well as through discussions of the project results, including the pilot project activities which will be implemented in Montenegro, at the National Council sessions”.

H.E. the President of Montenegro acknowledged the value of transboundary cooperation towards sustainable development in the area.

Serving the Project’s approach to foster synergies with other initiatives in the Drin, Mr. Faloutsos, in his capacity as Senior Programme Officer leading the Southeastern Europe Section at GWP-Med, presented also the Integrated Resources Management Plan (IRMP) for the Buna/Bojana Area. Buna/Bojana is a sub-basin of Drin and is shared by Montenegro and Albania. The Plan was prepared by GWP-Med, the Regional Activity Centre for the Priority Actions Programme (PAP/RAC) in cooperation with UNESCO ‐ International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), under the GEF/ UNEP-MAP MedPartenrship Project (ended in 2015).

Mr. Faloutsos presented the novel planning approach followed towards the preparation of the Plan -the Integrative Methodological Framework- as well as the Plan’s management objectives and measures. The importance of establishing a transboundary institutional arrangement was stressed: a Montenegrin-Albanian Commission with the responsibility of managing the sub-basins of the Skadar/Shkoder lake and the Buna/Bojana river as well as the adjacent coastal area. A draft international agreement text containing all necessary provisions to regulate transboundary management was prepared by GWP-Med as part of the Management Plan.

The National Council “accentuated the importance of establishing joint cross-border commission for the promotion of cooperation between Montenegro and Albania”.

[1] The GEF Drin Project aims at the strengthening of the institutional and legal frameworks for transboundary cooperation. It aims at the establishment –if not existing- and functioning of the Inter-ministerial Committees –one in each Drin Riparian- that will receive and comment on the main project outputs and guide the process of harmonization of existing policy and institutional frameworks at national level. 

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