Two CRESSIDA workshops were successfully organized in the Western Balkans region during May this year, with full participation of communities, representatives of different institutions, active participation of the stakeholders and including interesting presentations.
The first Sub-Regional Workshop of the beneficiary communities of CRESSIDA project in the Western Balkan countries was held in the period 7-9 May in Budva, Montenegro. This event gathered about 30 municipal officials and representatives of local communities along the Drina from 3 beneficiary countries: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. This year the Sub-Regional Workshop focused on discussing the experiences on the application of the Index on Water Integrity (IWI) in the river basin of Drina, as well as exchanging experiences and sharing results of the Pilot projects supported by the project and discussing future cooperation opportunities.
Several days later, the second workshop was held in Rugova village close to Peja city in Kosovo*, on 14-15 May. It gathered around 40 municipal officials and representatives of local communities along the Drini River Watershed from 3 beneficiary countries: Albania, Kosovo and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The workshop was also focused on presentation of the newly developed tool on Index on Water Integrity (IWI), presented by the practitioners on the tool from USEPA and local experts from participating countries in the project. The IWI of Drini river was presented and shared with participants as well as experiences and lessons learned from the pilot projects in the three countries.
CRESSIDA proved once again that if working together with communities and scientists, the municipalities can find solutions to their daily challenges and better address them within their limited capacities by making use of the already developed solutions. The networking was a key element of success in the project, enabling a great cooperation and good dialogue among municipalities along these two rivers, despite country boundaries. Several joint activities were organized during the project implementation and many results and tools are left in the hands of the municipalities for further use.
CRESSIDA is a regional program for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, implemented by the REC and supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The overall goal of the CRESSIDA project is to support local communities, the national administrations and business sector, to more efficiently plan and implement local sustainable management in the in the Drin and Drina River basins.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.