Watershed moment

March 4, 2014

CRESSIDA project kicks off with US EPA support

TAKING THE LONG VIEW: The Drini/a River from Rozafa Castle, near Shkoder in northwestern Albania. Photo: Tobias Klenze
With the kind support of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the REC will implement the project 'Building Local Community Resilience for Sustainable Development in International Watersheds, Such as the Drini/Drina river' (CRESSIDA) in partnership with the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS), Venice International University and local governments from those countries which share the watersheds-namely, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

The CRESSIDA project will last 60 months, and the main goal is to create a flexible and easily replicable 'living laboratory' for pilot sustainability tools and practises. Each comprehensive capacity-building activity will combine theoretical and hands-on approaches, and also encourage participants engage actively in decision-making processes.

Participants from each municipality will gather each year to assess current methodologies and tools available for improving water management and inter-municipal cooperation. They will select a tool or methodology of their choice, which will later be adopted and tailored to fit their needs. For one year they will monitor its implementation and utilisation, and then come up with recommendations on how to improve their respective tool or methodology.

Project participants will also be eligible to take part in the Course for Sustainability to expand their knowledge of sustainable development. As the number of participants for this course is limited, only a handful of people will be accepted. Those who do take part will act as 'focal points' for disseminating knowledge and information received during the course, and will also play an integral role in the selection and development of tools and methodologies to be used in future.

* 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.