Development of Skadar/Shkoder Lake Management Strategy and National Fishery Management Plans (MNE and ALB)

Development of Skadar/Shkoder Lake Management Strategy and National Fishery Management Plans (MNE and ALB)

Source of funding

Global Environment Facility

Name of client/donor

Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment of Montenegro, World Bank

Overall project value

EUR 36,360


June 2011 – February 2012

Beneficiary countries

Albania | Montenegro

Number of staff


A first document laying out a joint vision for the lake, the Strategic Action Plan (SAP), was developed in 2007. The aim was to assist governmental institutions and other interested parties in Montenegro and Albania to define actions and projects at local, national and/or bilateral level, with the aim of improving environmental management and supporting the sustainable economic use of the natural resources of Skadar/Shkodra Lake and its surrounding areas.

However, in the context of processes such as EU integration and regional cooperation, it was recognised that the SAP should be revised and agreement should be reached between the two countries on a common vision and other relevant issues at a joint strategic level. This would include impact and possibly outcome statements for national-level management plans for the area and for their most important resource — the fish populations, for which national fishery management plans were needed.

The governments of Montenegro and Albania received a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), administered by the World Bank, to strengthen cooperation for lake management. The project complied with the strategy for bilateral cooperation on Skadar/Shkoder Lake defined in the agreement for the protection and sustainable development of the lake signed by the former Ministry of Tourism and Environment of Montenegro (now the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment), and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration of Albania.

The objective of the project was to help establish and strengthen institutional mechanisms for transboundary cooperation through joint efforts to improve the sustainable management of Skadar/Shkoder Lake. The wider objective was to maintain and enhance the long-term value and environmental services of the lake and its natural resources.

The assignment was to prepare a five-year Skadar/Shkoder Lake Management Strategy, including all relevant aspects for coordination and the sustainable management of the lake at bi-national level. The joint lake strategy was intended to provide a platform for decision-making processes, at state and and inter-state level. It was intended to define joint priorities for the elaboration and implementation of protection measures, including the preservation of the lake’s important habitats and species; sustainable development in the main economic sectors (e.g. tourism); a preliminarily zoning concept at transboundary level; and the improvement of inter-state lake management structures (Skadar/Shkoder Lake Commission and joint working groups).

The strategy was also designed to focus on the most important and most challenging socioeconomic sector — fishery — through the development of national fishery management plans (NFMPs) for both Montenegro and Albania. The NFMPs were to share the same goal statement and purpose, as far as possible. The NFMP documents were to elaborate the present state and future perspectives in the fishery sector at national level, with clearly defined monitoring and evaluation indicators for implementation.

  • Defining the assignment/lake area, including the Skadar Lake National Park and Shkodra Lake Natural Managed Reserve.
  • Mapping the protected areas in both countries.
  • Reviewing the legal framework, including relevant national legislation (strategies, spatial plans, laws and sub-law acts) for the management of the lake’s protected areas; assessing enforcement; and monitoring and supervising implementation.
  • Reviewing the institutional set-up: institutions in charge of managing the lake’s protected areas; capacities and capabilities for protecting the lake’s natural resources; and capacities for facilitating sustainable development measures and implementing plans.
  • Reviewing intra-state institutional/legal cross-cutting issues: roles and responsibilities of the different managing authorities in both countries; level of cooperation; identification of conflicts and overlapping responsibilities.
  • Developing a joint vision for lake management.
  • Proposing a tentative zoning plan for Skadar/Shkoder Lake, taking into account national zoning plans and national legislative demands.
  • Developing national fishery management plans.
  • Information dissemination
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Biodiversity protection
  • Drafting recommendations
  • Support to policy making