UNECE is working on greening the energy sector in accordance with principles of carbon neutrality and just transition. In its efforts it recognizes, however, that the scope and pace of the transformation process has to be aligned with the capabilities and needs of individual member States, taking into account their endowment of natural resources, technological base, cultural heritage, as well as the legal and regulatory structure.
In this context, Albania and Serbia requested UNECE to develop a study analysing their local geological and mining conditions, and on that basis identify principle-based guidelines for designing and implementing a programme for an efficient, safe, and environmentally conscious mine closure in the countries.
The goal of the study is to provide a theoretical background for actions allowing to reclaim the mined land and mitigate hazards so that it becomes suitable for repurposing and sustainable development. The document will improve both beneficiary countries’ national capacities to close coal mines in a manner that ensures that at the end of the process the site is safe for the environment and the population and that the reclaimed grounds are ready for further use unrelated to coal mining.
In the process of developing the document a fact finding mission was conducted, the results of which were presented at the workshop. In addition, the latter featured a detailed presentation of the methodology adopted to develop the report, as well as its up-to-date findings and expected recommendations. The presentation of the study was followed by an open discussion with the local stakeholders, allowing the authors of the document to tailor its final version as closely to the beneficiary states’ conditions and needs as possible.