On 19 June 2014, the first conference of the project “Improving Environmental Monitoring and Disaster Prevention Capacity in Drina river basin – Phase II” was held in Trebinje, Republic of Srspka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The gathering involved the Regional Agency for Disaster Prevention and Environment (ARPA ER) of the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) as know-how provider and national Hydrometeorological Service of Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as well as the Hydrometeorological and the Seismological Institute of Montenegro as beneficiaries.
 
The project area of intervention is the 346 Km long Drina River, which spreads over the borders between the Republic of Srpska (Bosnia and  Herzegovina), Serbia and Montenegro, with a minor part in Albania.
A lack of data exchange among Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia almost makes it impossible to foresee the arrival of disruptive events and adopt appropriate measures to contain damages and disruption such as those occurred in May 2014.
 
During the conference, all the partners introduced the specific project objectives and actions to be developed. Special attention is paid to energy supply, with 97 small and large hydroelectric plants, including 6 plants under construction, along the Drina river. This project also puts an emphasis on shared water management strategies and consequent actions, which may lead to rational and effective exploitation of the high potential connected to the Drina River and its tributaries. The Regional Agency for Disaster Prevention and Environment (ARPA ER) of the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) as well as the national Hydrometeorological Service of the Republika Srpska and the Hydrometeorological and the Seismological Institute of Montenegro presented their activities and fields of operation. The project partners had the chance to visit the Hydro power Plant Trebišnjica and the hydrological station near Trebinje.
 
The assignment is realised within the framework of the Know-how Exchange Programme (KEP) - financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, entirely supported by the Italian Government - with a grant of around 30.000 EUR and total project cost of around 80.000 EUR. It is a follow-up of a study currently under implementation in the framework of a KEP project co-financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD entitled “Improving environmental and disaster prevention capacity in Serbia”, aimed at reducing environmental risks and at increasing safety for the population in the Serbian portion of the Drina River Basin.

This project will be compliant with the activities conducted by the Drina River Commission (DRC), and with the guidelines of Climate Change Framework Action Plan for Adaptation for South East Europe (CCFAP). It will give new impulse to the process of permanent exchange of data and know-how among the Drina Countries. The sectors to be tackled within this project include water resource management, hydro-meteorological monitoring and forecast, risk reduction from natural events, air and water quality, energy and overall social and economic development.

Thanks to this second project, all the relevant institutions dealing with the Drina river basin in CEI member countries will establish an efficient network of collaboration with real-time hydrometerological monitoring and forecasting, in order to reduce environmental risks and increase safety of the population on both banks of the Drina river basin.
For more information: kep.italy@cei.int
 
The KEP ITALY (CEI Fund at the EBRD) Call for Proposals 2014 is officially open.
Deadline for applications: 15 July 2014

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