Workshop on preliminary ecosystem-based assessment of the Bojana basin

using MARISCO methodology

On October 2nd and 3rd with our partner Centre for econics and ecosystem management from University Eberswalde, EnvPro hosted a workshop ‘’Assessment of the Bojana basin for developing adaptive, ecosystem-based, risk management based on MARISCO methodology’’, which was held online.

The workshop was realised as an activity within the project “Enabling environment for joint bottom up protection and sustainable development planning for Bojana river basin”. The workshop aim was to present the project and explore the Bojana basin area scientifically – what research has been done, what is the current state, what are the values and threats present and what is necessary to be tackled in the future, particularly within the given project. The workshop gathered, besides EnvPro staff, organizations collaborating on the project: NGO Montenegrin ecologist society, NGO Center for protection and research of birds, which has significant presence in the Ulcinj saline, and an international organization with a focus on the Balkan, the River collective, gathering scientists and activists for the purpose of river protection.

On the first day of workshop, the focus was on presentation of the project, its background and rationale, project area – Bojana basin on the Montenegrin side - and presentations of reports, studies, strategies and laws by EnvPro and other participants. The MARISCO approach was presented as well, its history, origin, and application around the world.

Prof. Dr. Pierre Ibisch, representing the Centre for econics and ecosystem management, started the second day of the workshop with the overview of Bojana delta area, its key ecosystems, ecological values, and threats. We discussed possible applications within the project, in accordance with available financial and human resources. In the practical part of the workshop, the participants had a session of mapping desired geographical scope for the Bojana basin area that could be used as project borders, along with discussions and defining the key ecological attributes. This was an important part of the workshop since the Bojana basin belongs to the wider transboundary region and the Drin river basin and ideally, the whole Drin basin would be included in the project area due to the river ecosystem connectedness and complexity. However, due to limited financial resources and focus on bottom up processes and local perspectives and perception, the result of scope drawing were three zones. The most important zone for the project is the most narrow one, encompassing Ulcinj municipality with a part of its marine waters. The focus will be on an area starting from the Bojana estuary into the Adriatic sea on the east, following the Long beach up to port Milena on the west, and including the whole Bojana river basin to the north, encompassing the Bojana river, its tributaries on the Montenegrin side Miđanska, Rastiška, Međurečka and other rivers, Ulcinj salina and Šasko lake. The second zone is slightly wider and cross-border to include important parts of the delta on the Albanian side, and the third covers the entire Drin basin that will, for now, be targeted only via desktop research and reliance on available information. Additionally, at the end of the workshop, the participants went through defining key ecological attributes, threats, causes, sub-causes, and analysis of solutions for a chosen example-ecosystem of the Bojana delta.

The workshop ended with an agreement to continue cooperation with workshop participants on further implementation of MARISCO methodology within the project.

Enabling environment for joint bottom up protection and sustainable development planning