High-level agreement on a shared vision for the Drin River Basin

Posted: 2011-12-25

Following detailed assessment and a structured stakeholders' consultation at national and regional levels, the five Drin River riparian states signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a shared strategic vision for the benefit of about two million people who rely on the basin for drinking water, agriculture, fisheries, industry, and hydropower.

In Tirana, Albania, on 25 November 2011, Ministers and Deputy Ministers from Albania, Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro signed the memorandum. This represents a significant step forward in the development of transboundary cooperation in the Drin Basin. The Drin Core Group (DCG) was established as a cross-basin body to implement the Memorandum of Understanding and GWP Mediterranean was appointed as its Secretariat. The Drin Dialogue process is facilitated by GWP Mediterranean and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in collaboration with UNDP.

The challenges facing the Drin Basin have many dimensions, including competing uses for water. Hydropower is of particular importance, with major dams and power stations in Albania and FYR Macedonia. In addition, water quality is under threat from pollution, mainly from agriculture and untreated urban wastewater. The exceptional biodiversity and endemic species of the Drin Basin are in danger without an improved and coordinated management of the ecosystem.

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