Adaptation to Climate Change through Transboundary Flood Risk Management in the Western Balkans (completed)

Project description

Title: Adaptation to Climate Change through Transboundary Flood Risk Management in the Western Balkans
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Southeastern Europe (Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia)
Lead executing agencies: Albania: Ministry of Tourism and Environment; Kosovo: Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure; Montenegro: Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism; North Macedonia: Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning;
Overall term: 2012 to 2022

Floods 2010 in Shkodra region


The Drin River Basin in the Western Balkans is home to 1.6 million people. Their lives depend on this system, which provides the resources they need for electricity generation, irrigation, fishing and recreational activities. Increasing floods and droughts in the Mediterranean region, and especially in the Western Balkans, will pose ever greater risks to the economy, flora, fauna and human health.

Over the past few years, the frequency and severity of natural disasters (mainly floods and droughts) in the Western Balkans region has increased substantially. Climate change is causing intensive floods, which affect the living conditions of the population along the Drin River Basin. Climate projection models predict that flooding is likely to increase in the coming years. The consequences of flooding include damage to property, destruction of crops, and loss of livestock, with severe economic impacts for communities. The riparian countries (Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia) clearly see a need for joint action in terms of preparedness, response and recovery, to successfully face the consequences of these events and adapt to predicted changes.


Transboundary flood risk management is strengthened with regard to climate change.

Measurements of water level


The project focuses on the Drin River Basin and supports institutions at national and local levels in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia.



The project currently acts in three key areas:

  • Flood Hazard and Risk Mapping: The project supports partner institutions with technical and methodological expertise for the participatory development of Flood Hazard and Risk Maps in accordance with the EU Floods Directive.

  • Early Warning: The project works with national and local authorities in selected pilot areas on building capacities for delivering effective and timely “end to end” early warnings. It provides technical and organisational advice to national Hydro-meteorological Services to improve their capacities for forecasting and warning.

  • Institutional development: The project supports actors at national and local levels in strengthening their strategic capacities to better coordinate Flood Risk Management. In the risk areas on the local level, selected measures of flood risk management are implemented.

Last update: June 2023

Additional information