The organizers were Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean region (GWP-Med), the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the GEF “Lake Shkoder/Skadar Integrated Ecosystem Management” Project. Financial support came from the European Commission and the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
The purpose of the Workshop was to enhance skills and build capacity of stakeholders on priority IWRM issues, equipping them with knowledge and tools to effectively participate in the management planning of rivers and lakes in the extended Drin River Basin. The Workshop also assisted the implementation of the GEF “Lake Shkoder/Skadar Integrated Ecosystem Management” Project by empowering stakeholders that will act as Working Groups members under the Lake Shkoder Joint Committee that is in the making.
The participants were introduced to the IWRM approach and trained on its application, and came from national authorities, joint river basin commissions and bodies, management authorities of protected areas, academia and NGOs from Albania, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
A special session promoting the GWP ToolBox as a valuable tool for IWRM was facilitated by Danka Thalmeinerova, GWP ToolBox Officer, who introduced content, structure, applications and the new ToolBox website. One participant said, "I am an engineer. Until now I have taken a simple engineering approach to water management issues. Now that I have seen the GWP ToolBox, I have the possibility to take a much broader approach, including social and economic issues, and that is what I will do in the future."
The Workshop followed the ‘Consultation Meeting on IWRM in the Extended Drin River Basin’, November 24, 2008, in Tirana, Albania, where riparian countries agreed to enhance cooperation and common action for the joint management of this important transboundary river.
These activities are part of GWP-Med’s on-going systematic work to enhance synergy on the ground and build capacity of stakeholders for transboundary water resources management in Southeastern Europe. Activities are implemented in collaboration with key partners in the region in the policy framework of the Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process and contribute to the implementation of the GEF Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Large Marine Ecosystems (GEF SPM) and the Mediterranean Component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI).