Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans

Lead country

Regional Centre - Istanbul

Participating countries

Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania

Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From October 22, 2019 to October 22, 2024

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  2. 13.2 Integrate climate change into national policies, planning
  3. 1.5 Build resilience of poor to climate, shocks

Project ID: 6215

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Technical team

  • Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Mainstreaming integrated policy and planning for climate-resilient & sustainable development
  • Climate resilient integrated water resource and coastal management


  • FreshWaters


  • Rivers and river basins

Transformed sector(s)


UNDP role(s)

  • Convening / Partnerships / Knowledge Sharing
  • Capacity development / Technical assistance


  • Law regulation
  • Mitigation adaptation
  • Capacity building


  • Partnerships
  • Institutional framework
  • Laws/ Policy/ Plan formulation
  • Flood prevention/Early Warning
  • Institutional capacity building

Social inclusion


Gender equality


Gender result effectiveness scale



  • Systems pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience
  • Hazard control/mitigation

SDG target(s)

  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change into national policies, planning
  • 1.5 Build resilience of poor to climate, shocks

Conventions and protocols


Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy

Project description

The Drin River Basin (DRB) is a transboundary river basin, which is home to 1.6 Million people and extends across Albania (30% of basin area, 27% of total country area, 37% of basin population), Kosovo (23% of basin area, 42% of total country area, and 35% of basin population), the Former Yugoslav Republic of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (17% of basin area, 13% of total country area, and 11% of basin population), Montenegro (22% of basin area, 32% of total country area, and 17% of basin population) and Greece. The DRB countries and entities (Riparians) are increasingly exposed to the impacts of climate change. Climate change and climate variability have been increasing the frequency, intensity and impact of flooding in the basin. See Part II for the outline of the climate change risks and vulnerability in the sub-region. The impacts of the climate-induced flooding are exacerbated by the severe anthropogenic pressures including rapid and uncontrolled urbanization; deforestation; poor solid waste management; unsustainable use of land and water resources; intensive agriculture, forestry and mining activities; unsustainable tourism. These non-climate factors are being analyzed and addressed in the sub-region through a regional GEF supported project “Enabling Transboundary Cooperation and Integrated Water Resources Management in the Extended Drin River Basin” (GEF Drin Project) implemented by UNDP that supports the implementation of the Drin MoU for the coordinated management of the Drin Basin. The Drin MoU and the GEF Project aim to put in place the institutional and cooperation mechanisms for the enhanced management of the shared water resources at basin level. However, the GEF-supported project and the on-going baseline sub-regional initiatives cannot comprehensively address climate change adaptation needs of the riparian countries and establish a comprehensive basin level climate risk and flood risk management, which includes: (1) exchange of risk knowledge and climate information; (2) basin level climate change adaptation and flood risk management strategy and plans; (3) combination of structural and non-structural interventions; (4) institutional capacity. Overall the lack of comprehensive basin level climate risk and flood risk management, is posing a challenge to practitioners and governments of the riparian countries and increasing the exposure of the basin population to flooding. An effective climate risk management and flood risk management in the context of the Drin River Basin in the Western Balkans calls for a coordinated transboundary climate information management and action across the countries in the sub-region in line with the Drin MoU implementation process The main objective of the project is to assist the eligible riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the Drin River Basin to climate-induced floods

USD $9,150,000

Grant amount


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Adaptation Fund ($9,150,000)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Regional Centre - Istanbul

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation