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Training Workshop "Strengthening the Basis for Exchange of Data and Information on Priority Themes" for the Drin River Basin riparian countries

02 - 04 July 2019
Ohrid North Macedonia

The training "Strengthening the basis for exchange of data and information on priority themes" was organized 2-4 July 2019 in Ohrid, North Macedonia, for the Drin Basin riparians in Western Balkans with the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean. The scope and topics were agreed with the riparians of the Drin River Basin in the framework of the Drin Core Group and the training was carried ouf as part of the UNDP/GEF project "Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the extended Drin River Basin". The training targeted mainly the members of the Expert Working Group on Monitoring and Information Exchange (EWG-MIE) and key officials/experts.

The main technical expertise was provided by the UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre at the Environmental Research Institute, Finish Environment Institute, WMO and the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Objectives of the training were to:

  • Refresh and improve the knowledge of the participants about fundamental issues of data and information exchange at the transboundary level;
  • Familiarize the participants with the monitoring and assessment cycle and the necessity of periodically revisiting the information needs as a function of water management issues and the objectives set;
  • Demonstrate selected tools and considerations that support initiating data and information exchange on priority datasets with the approach decided by the Drin Core Group;
  • Provide an update on the relevant international guidance and standards as well as key considerations related to data comparability relevant to the Drin Basin and pertinent pressures;
  • Provide elements to enrich discussion in the EWG-MIE about further development of data and information exchange;

The training part on 2 and 3 July 2019 covered data collection and infrastructure, data management and tools, as well as various ways to improve comparability of monitoring data. Thematically the datasets indicated by the countries as priority for data exchange were in focus; on the one hand hydrology, meteorology and water levels, and on the other water quality and pollution.

The training was followed by an ad-hoc meeting of the EWG-MIE on 4 July 2019 to discuss its work plan for 2019-2020 as well as information and monitoring related actions in the draft Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the extended Drin River Basin.

Documents ENG
Programme PDF
2 July 2019 (day 1)  
Strategies and guidance for transboundary monitoring and assessment
Dr. Annukka Lipponen, UNECE Secretariat
Session 1a: Data collection and infrastructure  
Network issues
Mr. Peter Webster, UN Environment GEMS/Water Capaicty Development Centre and the Environmental Research Institute (water quality)
Quality assurance and control
Mr. Peter Webster
Monitoring of transboundary water between Finland and Russia - Example of cross-border harmonization
Dr. Seppo Hellsten, Ms. Sari Mitikka, Mr. Seppo Rekolainen, Finnish Environment Institute
Session 1b: Data management and tools  
Data management and tools
Mr. Peter Webster
Drin Information System
Mr. Henning Mejer, consultant for GWP
Managing data: Meteorology, Climatology and Hydrology
Mr. Vasko Stojov, Hydrometeorological Service of North Macedonia
Session 2: From the purpose of use to parameters  
Hydrological data, standard and quality
Mr. Tommaso Abrate, WMO
An operational data exchange example: Sava GeoPortal and Hydrological Information System
Mr. Mirza Sarač, Secretariat of the International Sava River Basin Commission
3 July 2019 (day 2)  
Session 3: Priority datasets, part B - water quality and pollution  
Chemical and Ecological status assessment
Mr. Peter Webster
Indicators and Pressures
Mr. Peter Webster
Session 4: Towards comparability of data  
The GEF Drin Project, Water statistics, Key frameworks, concepts and definition
Mr. Mirza Sarač