GWP-Med’s contribution to 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 that will be presented in July at the Political Forum's session of the UN Economic and Social Council. The National Council also discussed issues and actions related to the coastal zone management and the protection and management of water resources in Montenegro.

The Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) has been working during the past ten years with institutions and stakeholders in Montenegro providing support as necessary and appropriate for the sustainable management of basins and water resources in the country. In this framework, Mr. Dimitris Faloutsos from GWP-Med presented in the National Council the Integrated Resources Management Plan (IRMP) for the Buna/Bojana Area – the area 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.


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 uninterrupted natural and anthropogenic system of the Skadar/Shkoder lake, the Buna/Bojana river and 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.

H.E. the President of Montenegro acknowledged the value of transboundary cooperation towards sustainable development in the area. The National Council “accentuated the importance of establishing joint cross-border commission for the promotion of cooperation between Montenegro and Albania.”

Mr. Faloutsos also presented the Memorandum of Understanding for the management of the Drin Basin (Drin MoU), as well as the GEF project “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the extended Drin River Basin” implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and executed by GWP-Med, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The project provides the means for the implementation of the Drin MoU.

The National Council was kindly requested to provide guidance for the implementation of the Drin MoU as well as 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”.

[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.