Project title: Environmental Initiative
Duration: 9 months
Implementation period: April 1 – December 31, 2023
Supported by: Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
Status: In progress
The project is rooted in the urgent need to counteract severe and unresolved environmental degradation affecting various communities, particularly in the regions of Kosovo. The degradation spans multiple concerns, including the contamination of the Gračanka River, and the vital Iber-Lepenc Canal, a key water source for north-central Kosovo. These issues impact diverse communities, necessitating collaborative efforts among stakeholders from the Serbian, Albanian, and other local communities. One of the most pressing challenges is the pollution of the Gračanka River, which originates from the Prishtina area and flows to Gračanica. Adding to the complexity is the Iber-Lepenc Canal, which supplies water to densely populated areas with significant economic activity. The canal originates in Eastern Montenegro, traverses Serbia, and enters Kosovo through the Gazivode Lake. The pollution from illegal dumping, coupled with contamination from mines in Kosovo and Serbia, endangers the well-being of communities situated along the riverbanks. The absence of effective coordination has exacerbated the situation and led to neglect in managing the river basin’s water resources.
The project seeks to transcend political differences by uniting key stakeholders from governmental bodies, civil society, and ordinary citizens. By collaborating, these groups can jointly devise solutions to address the monumental environmental challenges that transcend geopolitical boundaries.
The project’s anticipated outcomes encompass both practical and collaborative dimensions:
- Foster the development of inter-community bonds within the realm of environmental activism, functioning as trust-building mechanisms and conflict prevention measures.
- Enable inter-municipal cooperation, such as between Gracanica and Pristina or, in later phases, South and North Mitrovica, to effectively tackle cross-municipal environmental issues.
- Facilitate a platform for dialogue and cooperation between local and central-level institutions, amplifying efforts to address environmental concerns collectively.
- Encourage regional collaboration wherever feasible, contributing to broader solutions in addressing shared environmental challenges.