Building Local Community Resilience for the Sustainable Development of Watersheds in South Eastern Europe (CRESSIDA)

Building Local Community Resilience for the Sustainable Development of Watersheds in South Eastern Europe (CRESSIDA)

Source of funding

United States

Name of client/donor

United States Environmental Protection Agency - US EPA

Overall project value

EUR 440,000


January 2014 – February 2019

Beneficiary countries

Albania | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Kosovo* | Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | Montenegro | Serbia

Number of staff


The CRESSIDA project builds stakeholder capacities to face sustainability challenges in the Drin and Drina River basins, focusing on improving the flexibility and adaptive capacities of communities and businesses based on knowledge acquired through the 2014 Course for Sustainability, organised by the REC's Sustainable Development Academy (SDA).

The goal is to provide training on resilience and sustainable development for communities in the Drin River basin in Albania, Kosovo* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; and the Drina River basin in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. By supporting local actions and building capacity, the project will help to improve local authorities' performance in terms of compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD); and will assist local populations to contribute to sustainability through their daily activities.

* 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.

The SDA's 2014 Course for Sustainability was designed to build capacities for resilience and sustainability at regional, national and local governance level in South Eastern Europe, focusing on green growth, circular economy and transboundary river basin management. Based on knowledge acquired during the course, local communities in six SEE countries are gaining a greater understanding of the importance of science-based sustainable resources management in contributing to peaceful cross-border relations and long-term economic development.

Activities implemented during the five-year project include:

  • assessing strategic plans and tools for water management at river basin and local community level;
  • organising regional forums and workshops for the sharing of experience on sustainable development and water management at regional and local level;
  • tailoring sustainable development tools for local needs and having them approved by local councils; and
  • developing and implementing processes and investments to address identified challenges and improve river basin management according to the WFD.
  • Capacity building
  • Cooperation
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Assessments
  • Events organisation