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Content archived on 2024-06-16

Concepts for integrated transboundary water management and sustainable socio-economic development in the cross border region of Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece

Final Report Summary - TRABOREMA (Concepts for integrated transboundary water management and sustainable socio-economic development ...) 

The TRABOREMA project focused on gaining new knowledge in the field of transboundary integrated water resource management in the western Balkans in order to meet the needs of society and European Union policies. The ecological status of the transboundary lake Prespa was assessed as a pilot model to verify sustainable development options. More specifically, the project objectives were to:
1. analyse water demand and policy options, including water disputes and crisis management;
2. develop methodologies for the determination of critical ecological indicators, necessary for the design of monitoring systems;
3. design and implement such as system as a pilot model in a target region;
4. adapt and apply suitable modelling and simulation tools as a basis for improved assessment of current ecological status and prediction under various scenarios;
5. establish the basic concept for a river basin management plan as defined by the European Water Framework Directive;
6. provide coherent policy recommendations based on qualitative and quantitative findings and promote the integration of water policy into broader socioeconomic policies;
7. define and prioritise themes and regions for transfer and application of the acquired knowledge.

Firstly, the basis for the design and implementation of the envisaged water monitoring system and data modelling was established. Moreover, relevant water resource management projects were identified and available information was collected in a database. The environmental baseline data were completed by an innovative consistent geological and hydrogeological map of the area under question. A water monitoring system was also installed in the area ,and samples were analysed with respect to numerous physical, chemical and biological parameters. In addition, a web-based database management system was developed and directly linked to the modelling tools for the assessment and prediction of the trophic state of the lake.

The necessity to implement, in all involved countries, a common set of water resource management standards which would be at least compliant with those of the European Union was highlighted, since it would establish a common basis for discussions towards sustainable development. The project resulted in significant progress in this direction. On the other hand, from a broader political point of view, TRABOREMA brought together scientists, authorities and decision-makers in a post-war border region of the western Balkans, which was still faced with the challenges and tensions of re-establishing good relations.