Climate Change Adaptation in South-Eastern Europe

The International workshop on climate change adaptation in the South-Eastern Europe (SEE), which was organized by the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) and the World Bank, and held on June 24-25, 2008, in Tirana (Albania), attracted more than 50 representatives of the SEE countries, as well as international and non-governmental organizations.The primary aim of the Workshop was to support the process of understanding the impacts of climate changes on water resources and water management in SEE, and to initiate discussion on adaptation to climate change.

After the results of scientific research on climate trends and projections until the end of the 21st century were presented, climate change in different parts of SEE (namely, the Sava and Drim / Drin river basins, and the Adriatic sea basin) and in different sectors (i.e. water management, hydropower production, and water and aquatic ecosystem protection) were considered at the workshop.

The Sava Commission was represented by the Secretary, Dr Dejan Komatina, who chaired the panel session on the Sava river basin. In his introductory presentation, Dr Komatina presented activities in the basin, coordinated by the Sava Commission, the realization of which would require knowledge and awareness of the climate change in the region. The presentation also provided an overview of the water uses that are likely to be affected by climate change, and addressed the issue of floods and droughts in context of climate change. The introductory presentation was followed by the statements of other panelists – representatives of the Sava countries, as well as by discussion of other participants of the Workshop.

In closing, it was concluded that further activities are needed in all three basins-in-question, including research and analysis of climate change adaptation possibilities and measures. Accordingly, an interest was expressed by the World Bank to financially support pilot projects on climate change adaptation in these three basins.