This project improves management of the Sava river basin and establishes cooperation mechanisms between the countries belonging to in three pilot river basins located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro in particular. It harmonizes methodologies for implementing the EC Water Framework Directive (WFD).
The EU Water Framework Directive defines the long terms EU water policy to be realized in river basins based on river basin management plans. This includes collecting and continuous updating of data and information on river basin characteristics, status of surface waters, ground water and protected areas, anthropogenic influence on the status of water and water-related ecosystems and economic price of water use. It was envisaged that the EU Framework Directive should be gradually incorporated into the water management system of the Sava countries, with special attention paid to standardization of data and methods and their harmonization and exchange with the EU.
For the practical implementation of the WFD in small national parts of the Sava basin, the three beneficiary countries have selected each one pilot sub-basin, namely the Dobra, the Vrbas and the Kolubara rivers.
UNESCO-IHE has a working experience in capacity building in the framework of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) activities. UNESCO-IHE is doing those activities an advisor to governmental institutions or by participating in consortia. Amongst others, direct contributions involved are training and facilitating workshops in Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Estonia and the Balkan. Another example is the activities within Delft Cluster, in which distinct contributions are made to national development of tools and modeling procedures, serving the WFD.
The project enhances water management cooperation among Sava countries using an integrated water management approach as outlined in the EC WFD and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) issue papers. The project has among others successfully:
· Facilitated co-ordination of the WFD-related support projects in the Sava basin (CARDS Regional with CARDS national, EAR Serbia and Montenegro, GEF Sava and others);
· Supported the capacities of the Sava Commission being responsible for trans-boundary coordination of water management activities in the Sava River Basin;
· Trained and strengthen personal and institutional capacities in B&H, Croatia and S&M needed for the preparation of Sava RBM Plan and implementation of WFD;
· Implemented key principles of WFD in three pilot rivers aiming at identifying a harmonized methodology that can be applied in a generic style to other sub-basin of Danube river basin in general and Sava river basin in particular;
· Identified synergies between this project and other ongoing projects relevant for the implementation of WFD in the Sava river basin (UNDP/GEF project aimed at developing Sava RBM Plan, CARDS national projects, EAR's projects in S&M; ISPA project in Slovenia, etc.);
· Raised awareness and knowledge about the EU-WFD in the beneficiary countries in general and among the local water users in particular;
Activities and Outputs
One of the outputs of this project is a joint formulation on River Basin Characterization for three country-representative (pilot) sub-basins with respect to typology, identification and characterization of water bodies, impacts of natural and man-induced hydrological pressures, economic analysis and intercalibration procedures. Another output is the creation of a critical mass in the three countries on WFD formulation of the Sava Basin as a whole, inclusive trans-boundary water quality characterization and legislation.
The role of UNESCO-IHE in this project was supportive in the sense that its Water Framework Directives experts contribute to the Regional Training programs as organized by the regional SAFEGE team for the three involved countries. National workshops are occasionally visited, and the direct involvement is limited because of language barriers.
This project seeked to strengthen the countries’ capacities through information, training and cooperation, harmonize their methodologies through joint working groups and gain experience from local application of the WFD.
The project started in the end of 2004 with kick off meetings with the beneficiary representatives of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Since then, several regional workshops, seminars and trainings have been conducted, namely:
"Water Framework Directive and Common Implementation Strategy” in June 2005;
Second regional training/seminar held in Trogir (Croatia) and PSC-meeting No3 held in Trogir (Croatia) in October 2005;
Third regional training/seminar devoted to ecological aspects of WFD implementation held in Stubičke Toplice (Croatia) in Feb 2006;
Fourth regional training/seminar held in Sarajevo devoted to economic and "pressures-impacts" analysis held in Sarajevo in March 2006;
Regional training/seminar held in Valjevo and Belgrade (Serbia) mid 2006;
On the job training with beneficiary experts held in Sarajevo in may 2007.