Transboundary management in the Buna/Bojana catchment

Posted: 2012-11-22

The preparation of the Buna/Bojana Transboundary Integrated Management Plan aims to assist in identifying steps towards the reduction of pollution and the preservation of biodiversity in the area. Through multi-stakeholder consultations, the Plan will identify problems and issues in this basin shared between Albania and Montenegro. The Plan is prepared in the framework of the GEF MAP UNEP MedPartnership Programme by UNEP MAP PAP/RAC, GWP Mediterranean and UNESCO

The Bojana or Buna is a 41 km long river in Albania and Montenegro which flows into the Adriatic Sea. The Bojana system is 183 km long because it has quite a large watershed, covering 5,187 km², as the whole drainage area of Lake Scutari, the largest lake in southeastern Europe, is also part of it. Also, thanks to the waters from the Great Drin, the Bojana / Buna ranks second place among all tributaries to the Adriatic.

A team of local experts from the two countries is engaged under the guidance of the Albanian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Management and the Montenegrin Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. GWP Mediterranean, among other tasks, has undertaken to elaborate the Stakeholder Analysis and the Public Participation Plan of the catchment and coastal area.

During field missions in September and October 2012, GWP Mediterranean carried out consultations with local stakeholders in the municipalities of Bar and Ulcinj in Montenegro and the communes of Ana e Malit, Berdicë, Bushat, Dajç and Velipojë. The consultation employed a variety of different methods of Participatory Appraisal, such as open and semi-structured interviews, focus groups, mapping and visualisation.

The activities carried out served for understanding how and what local people perceive as issues related to the natural resources management in the river basin and coastal area, and which solutions they propose to address these. Valuable input was attained regarding the characteristics of the stakeholders, which will be used for the Stakeholders Analysis and Public Participation Plan. The final products of the work should be completed by the beginning of 2013.

The activities in Buna/Bojana also sought to understand how stakeholders perceive public participation in the framework of an integrated management plan. Such findings are important in the overall context of GWP Mediterranean’s work on public participation, stakeholders’ engagement and participatory management. Related activities, analysis and plans have been implemented or are on-going by GWP Mediterreanean for the Sava River Basin, the Dynaric Arc Aquifer System, the Drin River Basin, the Nestos River Basin, etc.

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