In the presence of the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the United Nations Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, launched a new project: “Management of marine and coastline pollution for increased Safety at Sea and Ports in line with EU Maritime Law and Policy”.
The project, supported financially by the Croatian Government, addresses the needs for an inter-institutional coordination platform of the Albanian preparedness and response system, including both public and private resources, responding to emergencies such as spillage of oil and other hazardous substances into the marine environment.
The President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, present at the event underlined: “A lot of effort and a lot of funding is invested into cleaning the shores of the Adriatic. We would prefer to invest that money into prevention of any environmental pollution. I am very pleased to see that the Government of Albania and we all agree that we need to work to protect the Adriatic from all kinds of pollution and I am looking forward to developing further initiatives, to see this project come to work but also to work to bringing countries ( Croatia, Montenegro and Albania) together to protect the Adriatic which is a great resource for us for our countries especially when it comes to tourism-one of the building blocks of all our economies”.
Limya Eltayeb UNDP Country Director highlighted:”We are very eager to ensure the preparedness and the capacities needed to manage any pollution incidents that might occur. This initiative intends to assist and strengthen the national and local capacities to respond to emergencies, and spillage of oil and other hazardous substances into the marine environment. It focuses on pollution risk prevention of the marine environment. It will build the knowledge and skills of the involved actors. The main goal is to establish a mutual network for the prevention of risks and management of emergencies to reduce the risk of marine environment pollution and to strengthen the capacities to respond to environmental and technological hazards caused by maritime incidents. This is the first project to be signed and launched between UNDP Albania and the Government of Croatia. And I am happy that we chose the maritime and environment sector. This initiative is very much linked with another initiative of UNDP and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, on conservation of marine ecosystems, including the Karaburun-Sazani Marine Park, which was the first ever marine protected area to be proclaimed in Albania, with the support of UNDP. We are proud that the Government of Croatia is joining these efforts.”.
The project interventions also aim to improve the national legal framework in line with EU requirements on prevention, preparedness and response in case of accidental maritime pollution by oil and other hazardous substances as well as to develop regulations for implementing the requirements from all parties responsible in the implementation of the National Contingency Plan.
These efforts will ensure Albania applies and implements several International Conventions, particularly the international Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Co-operation, and its protocols.
Croatia is funding the first stage of the project, worth a quarter of a million euros.