GEF fund recipient countries
GEF fund non-recipient countries
In March 2006, country representatives that participated to a workshop on the Dinaric Karst organized by UNESCO in Belgrade concurred that the key priority was “... to gain a better mutual understanding of the peculiar properties and functions of the Dinaric Karst Aquifer System, and to adopt policies for its joint management, based on a regional consultative and management mechanism”.
This remarkable consensus is in part the result of scientific initiatives such as the UNESCO ISARM Program for the Balkans, and of a number of international processes (the Petersburg Process, the Athens Declaration and related consensus building measures), and EU initiatives such as the Stabilization and Association Process that is ongoing in the region, and the Regional Environment Reconstruction Programme for SEE (REReP) initiated by the European Commission. So far in fact, none of the countries sharing the aquifer recognize in their water resources and environmental plans and policies the interconnected and transboundary nature of the aquifer system as a whole, and their plans regarding the management and protection of their karst ecosystems, and various water utilization policies are necessarily fragmented and with mostly local relevance.
Only recently has a better geologic understanding coupled with the improvement of environmental sciences started to translate into the realization of the need for a comprehensive management approach. The scientific community of the involved countries is leading the effort to mobilize political interest in the countries on this shared, complex but huge water resource.