The Final Consultation Meeting for the presentation of the Buna/Bojana Integrated Resources Management Plan took place in Ulcinj, Montenegro, on 7 September 2015. The Meeting was organised by PAP/RAC, GWP-Med and UNESCO-IHP (partner organizations) in the framework of the GEF UNEP/MAP MedPartnership project and under the auspices of the Montenegrin Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and Municipality of Ulcinj and with the participation of the Albanian Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship. The Meeting was the concluding event of the process for the preparation of the “Integrated Resources Management Plan for the Buna/Bojana Area” (“the Plan”)” jointly prepared by partner organizations in the frame of the MedPartnership. The aim of the Plan is to support the efforts of the governments of Albania and Montenegro to improve the integrated management of the natural and anthropogenic environments in the Buna/Bojana area.
The Plan is the practical application of the Integrative Methodological Framework (IMF) as the operational methodology for the sustainable management of the ecological continuum constituted by the marine and coastal zone, the river basin and the coastal aquifer. This Plan encompasses the transboundary area of Albania and Montenegro, bringing together administrative structures from the two states. The Plan considers impacts on the coastal (including marine) zone and the river basin of upstream activities from agriculture, tourism and urbanisation, and marine impacts on the river delta and coastal aquifers. This multi-sectoral approach resulted in measures for strengthening cooperation for restoration and safeguarding of the Area’s ecosystems and the services that they provide, increasing resilience to climate change as well as supporting creation of jobs and social welfare. The establishment of a transboundary governance mechanism, to ensure that relevant issues of transboundary importance are considered and acted upon bilaterally, is among the key measures. The Plan resulted in a draft Framework Agreement for the Sustainable Management of Skadar/Shkoder Lake Basin and Buna/Bojana Area, as requested by the Montenegrin Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism. The meeting was also an opportunity for initiating official consultations between the two countries on the draft Agreement, as the basis for action at the transboundary level.
The draft Agreement, prepared by GWP-Med and PAP/RAC with contribution of the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science of the University of Dundee is one of the few examples globally of a legal agreement for the management of shared resources, taking into consideration the continuum of systems found in nature, following the “source to sea” or “ridge to reef” paradigm, integrating management of river basins, coastal and marine areas.
The draft Plan in English, with summaries in Albanian and Montenegrin can be found here.