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The Balkanís regional meeting on Water 19. December 2012

WECF together with journalists for Human rights and UNECE organised the "Water Convention and Transboundary water dialogue as an instrument for Adaptation to Climate ChangeĒ in Skopje, (FYR) of Macedonia

22.12.2012 |WECF

During the one-day conference in Skopje, (FYR) of Macedonia, representatives of 17 NGO and governmental organizations from (FYR) of Macedonia, Greece, Albania and Kosovo discussed different problems of water management in the Balkan region.
During the conference, it became clear that there is a lack of knowledge and awareness about water problems and water resources management in the local societies and among the NGOs operating in FYR of Macedonia. However, since the country is going to ratify the Protocol on Water and Health of the Water Convention, the situation is expected to improve.

The following challenges of water management were formulated during the conference:
  • There are only few Balkan NGOs working on water issues.
  • Balkan countries have access to safe drinking water. Over 90% of (FYR) of Macedonia and Greece have access to safe drinking water. Access in Albania and Kosovo is also improving.
  • Problems with inadequate sanitation in rural areas and a general lack of a culture of hygiene.
  • Newer diseases should be recognized and combatted, such as West Nile Virus and Malaria in Greece.
  • Harnessing hydro power and trans-national water management is important since most sources of fresh water run through neighbouring countries. The Drin dialogue is a good-practice example of trans-national management between (FYR) of Macedonia and Albania.
  • Plans to develop tourism areas around Lake Ohrid have been stopped due to its protected status by the UNESCO
The representatives emphasized that access to clean drinking water is a human right guaranteed by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also noted that climate change is endagenring adequate water supply in the Balkan region.

You can read the full report here.

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