Promoting the implementation of Aarhus Convention in South Eastern Europe Region, Albania - 2011-2012

The project aimed to promote participatory mechanisms and partnerships among central and local public authorities, civil society organizations and business community for addressing environment and security challenges at the local, national and regional levels through supporting the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and its PRTR Protocol. Regional workshops were facilitated by Milieukontakt Albania.

 

Background:
Urban Waste Management in Albania it is becoming a national priority and a real challenge for LGUs and local communities. Management of the urban waste it is linked with local goverenance and other environmental and health problems (including here hazardous and hospital wastes) and it is a concern raised by local people through Aarhus Information Centers. The need for better management of urban waste it is emphasised also in the EU progress report for Albania 2011 “there is no procedure for management and controll of landfils and dumpsites remain still the only way for waste disposal”.
Through INPAEL project, EU financed, process of approximation of the environemtnal legislation with EU acqu started. National Strategy for Waste Management (NSWM) and Law on Integrated Waste Management (LIWM) were approved by Albanian Parliament in 2011, defining respective rights and obligations for all actors involved in waste management cycle.
In line with upper mentioned facts and government commitment to achieve EU planning standards, OSCE presence in Albania in cooperation with Milieukontakt International organised a series of 5 workshops in different location such as Berat, Peshkopi, Kukes, Vlore and Himara on Supporting Government Authorities to ensure compliance with environmental standarts and National Waste Strategy.

 

Objectives:
The main objective of the project aimed at promoting awareness among local government officials and civic stakeholders on the government's NWS and LIWM. Wide participation was used as an opportunity to encourage regional approaches to resolving the waste problem through inter-LGU collaboration for pooling resources, lobbying central government and applying for donor funding such as IPA. Five events (in Vlora, Kukes, Gjirokastra, Himara and Berat) were organised with an emphasis upon Good Governance approaches and local analysis of SWM systems. The locations identified for events have been prior selected due to the serious impact the waste problems are having on local communities and tourism-based economies. Specifically these are Vlora (coastal resort), Himara (coastal resort), Kukes (mountain/lake destination), Gjirokastra (historic city) and Berat (historic city).

 

Results achieved:
Workshops were the first steps undertaken by OSCE for assisting LGU in better planning of waste management. Some of the results achieved in these workshops were:

  • Local stakeholders more informed on current waste legislation;
  • Local stakeholders informed on their obligations and duties deriving from waste legislation;
  • problems on waste management listed and agreed by all stakeholders;
  • vivid discussion of local stakeholders resulted on common solutions;
  • Best practices shared with and by the local LGUs for waste management;
  • Action plans designed in each region;

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