ETC/ICM Report 2/2018: Water Use in the Western Balkans: regional outlooks and global megatrends

22 May 2018

Nils Hettich

Following a thematic focus on water in relation to energy and food trade-offs this report adapts and applies the methodology ‘Mapping Europe’s Future: understanding the impacts of global megatrends at the national level’ to a case study for the Western Balkans to understand the impacts of global megatrends (GMTs) for the region. It also identifies and collates existing evidence related to long-term trends and outlooks in environmental issues in the Western Balkans, and recognises how these relate to global trends. 

The participation and input of regional experts, through two project workshops, resulted in the identification of key GMT implications for the region grouped in three thematic clusters: Biodiversity and ecosystems, Resource use and supply, and Climate. Numerous risks and opportunities for the region or national environment and environmental policy are also identified related to each of the selected implications. Most of the risks and opportunities noted by experts relate directly or indirectly to resource management, in particular the need to balance different uses of water resources in the region. Although policy is a key factor in mitigating these risks and maximising opportunities, the study concludes that a broader focus is required. Responding to the risks and opportunities associated with GMT implications may include policy changes, but can also involve other types of response e.g.: more joint working across the region and between policy areas; better enforcement of existing policy; identification of long-term knowledge needs. 

Finally, this report provides some broad considerations for policy and decision makers in the region arising from the study into GMT implications. 

Prepared by: 

ETC/ICM subcontractors: Owen White, Rolands Sadauskis, William Sheate and Liza Papadopoulou (CEP) 

EEA member: Anita Pirc Velkavrh 

Editor: Anita Künitzer (UFZ) 

Published by: ETC/ICM, May 2018, 132 pp.