In relation to IPA Floods and Fires areas of risk expertise, the following initiatives and projects are now underway in Montenegro:
The Rescue and Protection Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior successfully implemented the 3 WATCH OUT project „Trilateral model of civil protection: WAys, Tools and CHallenges for OUr safety”, funded by the EU under the Interreg IPA CBC Italy-Albania-Montenegro Programme. Prior to the 2021 fire season, a national field exercise was conducted in Lužnica in Podgorica municipality. Under a realistic scenario, inter-municipal cooperation and coordination of activities of the RPD were put to test, as well as capacities at the national level in case of large-scale fires. This exercise follows the regional simulation exercise on May 31, 2021, when the already established procedures for providing international assistance in case of forest fires were tested, with representatives of the competent services from Italy and Albania (https://3watchout.italy-albania-montenegro.eu/).
The EU Floods Directive has been wholly transposed into the legislation of Montenegro through the Law on Water and Rulebook on the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment and the Flood Risk Management Plan (“OG MNE“69/15). Activities on implementation of the Floods Directive in Montenegro started in November 2019, through IPA 2016 Project – IPA II (2014 – 2020): „Support to Implementation and Monitoring of Water Management in Montenegro“. The project regarding flood risk will last for three years (until November 2022), and includes:
– Inventory of Montenegro’s existing flood protection infrastructure,
– Preparation of a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment – PFRA,
– Determination of Areas of Potential Significant Flood Risk – APSFR,
– Flood Hazard and Flood Risk maps – FH&RM,
– Preparation of Flood Risk Management plans – FRMP for both river basin districts.
For the time being, the Inventory has been completed and the PFRA is in the proposal phase.
The Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology (IHMS) participates in several projects related to flood risk management. A large part of these projects regards the Adriatic basin, with a focus on the areas near Skadar Lake and the Zeta Valley. Two UNDP projects (Integrated Flood Risk Management in the Drim River Basin and Enhancing Montenegro’s capacity to integrate climate change risks into planning implemented) are currently ongoing, with the objective of improving human and technical capacity. These projects will rely on the results of GIZ’s activities implemented through the Climate Change Adaptation through Transboundary Flood Risk Management project in the Western Balkans (CCAWB III), which is in its final stages. In the area of the Danube basin, IHMS is active participant in the project implemented by the International Sava River Basin Commission “Flood forecasting and warning system”. It should be noted that in order to achieve the full effect of these projects, it is necessary to establish a Department of Hydrological Forecasting so that the benefits of these and similar projects can be used in operational work.