As reported by international and local organizations and agencies, as well as Kosovo Institutions, Kosovo is living numerous and diverse institutional and non-institutional challenges which primarily relate to the implementation of environmental legislation, construction practice without criteria, lack of Spatial Planning and local urban plans, lack of drinking water, lack of treatment for waste water, poor management of municipal and industrial wastes, lack of proper use of natural resources and its protection, etc.

Kosovo has harmonized and created environmental legislation in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and environmental standards of the EU. This legislation generally reflects all the requirements of directives, regulations, conventions, as well as various environmental international treaties.

Despite the adoption and harmonization of legislation, the financial support received from donations and budget of Kosovo are not sufficient compared with existing environmental situation in Kosovo. The public and business community environmental awareness and education is not yet at the adequate level. The role of environmental NGOs remain weak and with limited opportunities for influence. In responding to environmental issues, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) is updating the Kosovo Environmental Strategy (KES) and the National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) for 2011–15, working with ministries, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders. The strategy and the action plan identify priorities for air, water, waste, chemicals, biodiversity, and environmental policy and categorize the proposed investment needs into high and medium priorities. The environmental priorities for the next five years are identified as completing environmental legislation in harmony with the EU “acquis”; gradually fulfilling EU standards and efficiently carrying out and incorporating environmental legislation and methodologies in all sectors; and setting up and expanding institutions for the implementation of environmental policies (including capacity building).

There are several specifics mentioned in the KES:

  • Providing financial and economic instruments for environmental protection. These should go hand-in-hand with economic development
  • Setting up and running an environmental monitoring network throughout Kosovo, with priority to major industrial pollutants and hotspots
  • Gradually increasing the population’s access to clean potable water, the sewage network, and municipal waste disposal, with support for programs for recycling wastewater and solid waste.
  • Using natural resources such as soil, water, minerals, and forests rationally. Special attention is needed in using limited resources and orienting toward renewables
  • Expanding protected areas and further protecting the natural heritage, along with increasing capacity for efficient management as per the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
  • Developing long-term educational and public-awareness campaigns and generating support for environmentally focused scientific projects
  • Applying energy-efficient concepts in all different economic sectors

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION APPROXIMATION PROGRESS IN KOSOVO

  • In response to the European Partnership for Kosovo, in 2005 the Government of Kosovo adopted the first European Partnership Action Plan (EPAP). In order to address the challenges identified in the annual EC Progress Reports on Kosovo, EPAP is continuously updated at the end of each year and this is undertaken through the coordination of MEI and broad participation of Kosovo’s institutions: the Assembly, the Government, local authorities, independent institutions and others.
  • In April 2005, The European Commission adopted the Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on “A European Future for Kosovo”.
  • In November 2005, The European Commission published its first progress report for Kosovo and Enlargement Strategy Paper.
  • In January 2006, The European Council adopted the second European Partnership for Kosovo.
  • In December 2007, The European Council confirmed the EU’s readiness to assist Kosovo’s economic and political development through a clear European perspective in line with the European perspective of the region.
  • In April 2008, Kosovo adopted Plan for European Integration 2008-2010.
  • In October 2009 Stabilization and Association Process Dialogue (SAPD) is established.
  • In October 2009, European Commission proposed initiation of the visa liberalization process for Kosovo and negotiation of the EU – Kosovo trade agreement
  • In April 2010, Kosovo established the Ministry of European Integration and in 2011 the Government adopted a regulation which provided an upgrade of Offices for European Integration within line ministries to Departments for European Integration and Coordination of Policies.
  • Institutions of the Republic of Kosovo remain committed for the implementation of the European agenda whilst it is strengthened with Kosovo’s formal participation in the Stabilization-Association Process, i.e. following the initiation of the Stabilization-Association Process Dialogue (SAPD) in 2010.
  • Chapter 27 of Environment Acquis is adopted in national legislation with several laws and sublegal acts.

Top Recommandations

  1. 1.

    To fulfill legislation gaps in water sector with Administrative Instructions and prepare the River basin Management plans and improve water monitoring quality

  2. 2.

    To establish River Basin Authorities

  3. 3.

    Establishing mechanisms for providing the public with information, for public consultations and for public comments and opinions to be taken into account in the decision-making process

  4. 4.

    To identifying the relevant Competent Authorities for involvement of Public participation in decision making and for public information, and to adapt good practices and procedures for implementation of IEA, SEA

  5. 5.

    To establish National Inventory System and to determinate Reference year for Green House Gas emission and to complete the Green House Gas Inventory for all sectors and Gases

  6. 6 .

    To increase capacity of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and Ministry of Economic Development for Climate Change issues

Top Findings

  1. 1.

    Kosovo water law, is not fully transposed EU Water framework Directive and monitoring of ground water is not established yet

  2. 2.

    Kosovo don’t have yet River Basin authorities and River Basin Management Plans

  3. 3.

    Kosovo environmental institutions are at early stage of involvement of public participation in environmental decision process and public environmental information

  4. 4.

    Kosovo still has problems in the implementation of laws for SEA, IAE and still don’t have good practices for implantation request for public participation in decision making and public information

  5. 5.

    Kosovo has not signed the UNFCCC Convention and do not have reporting obligation. Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning/MESP do not have specific department for Climate change. National Inventory System is not in place. Reference year for Green House Gas emission is not determined.

  6. 6.

    Limited capacities of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and Ministry of Economic Development for Climate Change issues

1. Water Quality & Management
1. River Basin Management
Legislation:

Kosovo Water law (Law. Nr.04/147), approved date 19.03.2013 Purpose of this Law shall be to provide sustainable development and utilization of water resources that are necessary for public health, environmental protection and social- economic development of the Republic of Kosovo, to establish procedures and guiding principles for the optimal distribution of water resources, based on the use and purpose; to ensure protection of water resources from pollution and to determine the institutional structures for managing the water resources.

Implementation:

The regulations for establishment of water basin authorities is not adopted yet

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

Kosovo has not yet established the River Basin Authorities and still have not developed Protection Plans for River Basin.

2. Ground and Surface Water Management
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3. Ground and Surface Water Management
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4. Underground Waters
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5. Drinking Waters
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6. Industrial and Agriculture Waters
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7. Flood Risk Management
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8. Waste Water Treatment
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9. Sea Waters
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10. Water Pollution
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11. Sea Waters
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2. Climate Change
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1. Green House Gas Emissions
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2. Paris Agreement & Adhering Conventions
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3. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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4. Mitigation and Adaption Measures
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3. Horizontal Legislation
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1. Public Access to Environmental Inform.
Legislation:

Law on Environment (Law. Nr.03/L025) date 26.02.2009 This law shall harmonize economic development and social welfare with basic principles for environmental protection according to the concept of sustainable development. Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, Nr.03/L-214 date 23.09.2020 The aim of this Law is to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts of proposed public and private projects and thereby contribute to the safeguarding and improvement of the environment, the protection of human health, and the improvement of the quality of life. Law on Access to Public Documents Nr.03-L-215, date 07.10.2010 This Law shall guarantee the right of every natural and legal person to have access, without discrimination on any grounds, following a prior application, to official documents maintained, drawn or received by the public institutions.

Implementation:

Kosovo has not signed the Aarhus Convention and don’t have reporting obligation

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning has not established the specific office of transparency with the public related to environmental issues and to Aarhus Convention. No specific procedures to provide environmental information to the public request.

2. Public Participation
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3. Environmental Impact Assessment
Legislation:

Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, Nr.03/L-214 date 23.09.2020 Administrative Instruction on the Information, Participation of the Public and Public Concerned in EIA Procedures No. 12/2010, 09 February 2010.

Implementation:

With changes and included exemptions in the Regulation itself and dismantling through other Laws in Force, EIA Regulation has turned into a formality rather than an environmental check on projects.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

Expect the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, Nr.03/L-214, that has transposed 100% EU Directive Environmental Impact Assessment, Kosovo still has problems in the implementation of law and still doesn’t have good practices for implementation of IAE procedures

4. Strategic Environmental Assessment
Legislation:

Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment No.DL-050-2010, date 18.10.2010. The purpose of this law is to ensure through strategic environmental assessment of certain plans and programs, high level for protection of the environment and human health.

Implementation:

The list of plans and programs for which Drafting of SEA report is obligator are not specified enough

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

To increase capacities of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning an Municipalities for better implementation of law on Strategic Environmental Assessment No.DL-050-2010

5. Environmental Liability
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6. Environmental Protection / Mitigation
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4. Air Quality
1. Ambient and Urban Air Quality Framework
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2. Emissions form Waste
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3. Emissions from Transport Sector
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4. Emissions from Industry and Agriculture
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5. Emissions from Housing Sector
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5. Waste Management
1. Waste Framework
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2. Sewage and Sludge
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3. Hazardous Waste
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4. Industrial Waste
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5. Inert Waste
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6. Electronic Waste
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Waste Treatment (Incineration, Landfill)
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6. Noise & Light Pollution
1. Assessment and Management of Noise
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2. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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3. Assessment and Management of Lighting Standards
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4. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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7. Chemicals and GMO's
1. REACH (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation Authorizations and Restriction of Chemicals
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2. Plant protection products
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3. Biocides
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4. Import and Exports of Chemicals
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5. Persistent Organic Pollutants
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6. Genetically Modified Organisms
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7. Food Safety
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8. Civil and Animal Protection
1. Control of Major Accident Hazards
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2. Information about pollution
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3. Risk and Emergency Management
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4. Animal Rights
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9. Circular Economy
1. Sustainable Resource Management
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2. Business Operations
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3. Societal Behavior
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10. Energy
1. Renewable Energy Directive
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2. Energy Efficiency Directive
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3. Energy Classification / Performance
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4. Energy Performance of Buildings
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5. Shift from Fossil to Renewables
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6. Energy in Mobility and Public Services Sector
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11. Wildlife and Nature Protection
1. Habitat Directives
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2. Marine Strategy Framework
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3. Endangered Species
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4. Protected Areas
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5. Biodiversity
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