A new cross-border multi-hazard early warning system will be developed in the Western Balkans and Turkey to increase resilience to floods, landslides, droughts and heat-waves which often hit the region and to build on the lessons learnt from the devastating floods of May 2014.
Authorities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, and Turkey agreed to establish a region-wide approach to build resilience to disasters and climate change adaptation at the conclusion of a two-year project implemented by the United Nations in collaboration with national counterparts and supported by the European Union.
The overall project “Building Resilience to Disasters in Western Balkans and Turkey” came to a close on 20 October. It was co-financed by the European Commission through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and implemented by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It brought together different stakeholders from local, national and regional governments, as well as from the scientific and the private sectors.
At a concluding meeting in Ankara, Turkey, representatives of all the beneficiary countries agreed to continue cross-border cooperation and information sharing. They also fully supported work towards a regional multi-hazard early warning system, which will consist of harmonized and strengthened existing national systems.
The value of such cooperation was underlined last May when devastating floods hit several countries in the region. The economic losses of the floods have been significant and have set back countries development gains.