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Workshop on Assessing the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus and Benefits of Transboundary Cooperation in the Drina River Basin

21 - 22 April 2016
Podgorica Montenegro

As demonstrated by the nexus assessment report of the Sava River Basin, summarized in the UNECE publication “Reconciling Different Resource Uses in Transboundary Basins: Assessment on the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems-Nexus” of November 2015, there are various benefits of transboundary cooperation to the riparian countries.

In response to this report’s conclusions, an assessment of intersectoral links, trade-offs and benefits in the Drina River Basin (Drina project) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, was launched by the workshop. It will assess the interlinkages among four key sectors in the Drina Basin – water, energy, food and ecosystems. The aims are (i) to identify intersectoral synergies that could be further explored and utilized and (ii) to determine policy measures and actions that could reduce the tensions between sectoral objectives, avoid unintended consequences of resource management and resolve trade-offs between sectors. Additionally the Drina project will address the relevant findings of the recent UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report.

First, participants discussed the main strategic orientations of the different sectors in the riparian countries sharing the basin. The findings of the nexus assessment of the Sava River Basin pertinent to the Drina basin were recalled and the intersectoral issues and their relative importance as well as predicted influences of climate change were discussed. Further, diverse potential solutions to reduce negative impacts or to benefit from opportunities related to improved intersectoral coordination and transboundary cooperation were identified. The conclusions and recommendations of the workshop will provide the direction for an analysis of priority measures and related benefits in the next steps.

The intersectoral (nexus) assessment methodology and the policy guidance on benefits of transboundary cooperation used in the project were developed under the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

The workshop was jointly organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC). The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro with the financial support of the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea.

A press release by UNECE regarding the workshop can be found here.

Documents ENG RUS
Agenda ENG  
List of participants ENG  
Report ENG  
Opening session    

Introduction to the Assessment of the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus and benefits of cooperation in the Drina Basin

Ms. Annukka Lipponen, Environmental Affairs Officer, UNECE


Methodology for assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus under the UNECE Water Convention

Ms. Lucia de Strasser, UNECE Consultant


Session 1: Setting the stage: The sub-regional context    

Overview on renewable energies: UNECE Status report and country commitments within the Energy Community

Mr. Miloš Banjac, Vice-Chair of the UNECE Group of Experts on Renewable Energy (GERE)/Assistant Minister, Ministry for Infrastructure and Energy, Republic of Serbia


Status of ecosystems in the Western Balkans and the outlook:

Mr. Goran Sekulić, WWF


Technical assistance projects to support water management in the Drina River Basin:

Ms. Dragana Milovanović, Directorate for Water, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of the Republic of Serbia

Session 2: National development plans and sectoral goals in the Drina river basin    

UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report

Mr. Gianluca Sambucini, Secretary of the UNECE Group of Experts on Renewable Energy (GERE)


RBM Planning

Ms. Dragana Milovanović, Directorate for Water, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of the Republic of Serbia


Infrastructure solutions: Guiding Principles: Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin

Mr. Momčilo Blagojević, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro


Session 3: Exploring the nexus in the Drina Basin: Zooming in from the Sava assessment    

An overview of the identified intersector issues and results from the analysis:

Mr. Eunice Ramos, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)


Drina River Basin Nexus Assessment: Governance Desk Study

Mr. Stephen Stec and Savannah Carr-Wilson, Central European University

Session 4: Presentation of the group work and plenary discussion about the intersectoral issues and their relative importance    
Session 5: Group work – intersectoral linkages and influences    
Session 6: Predicted impacts of the climate change on the Sava and the Drina River Basins    

Climate change predictions for the Sava River Basin and relevant projects on climate change

Ms. Dejan Komatina, Secretary, ISRBC

Session 7 (part 1): Reconciling different uses: potential nexus solutions  

5 Nexus Solutions

Mr. Roberto Martin-Hurtado, UNECE Consultant


Institutional solutions

Mr. Stephen Stec, Central European University


National development plans and sectoral goals in the Drina river basin – Environment

Mr. Momčilo Blagojević, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro)


International coordination and cooperation in development financing

Mr. Sven Hartmann, KfW Group, Germany

Session 7 (part 2): Benefits of transboundary cooperation    

Towards a broader understanding of benefits of cooperation in the Drina basin

Mr. Roberto Martin-HurtadoUNECE Consultant

Session 8: Information and sources, indicators and presentation of findings    

Opinion Based Questionaires

Ms. Lucia de StrasserUNECE Consultant

Session 9: Further steps of the nexus assessment and benefits’ study in the Drina River Basin    

Drina nexus and benefits project timeline

Ms. Annukka Lipponen, Environmental Affairs Officer, UNECE