Round table on “Best Practices of the European Union in the field of flood protection” held in Podgorica

The MIA Emergency Directorate in cooperation with the Northern Montenegro Development Fund held a round table in Podgorica on March 4, 2020 on the topic “Best practices of the European Union in the field of flood protection”, in order to exchange experiences, models of good practice and lessons learned when it comes to protecting against this natural disaster. The event was attended by representatives of the MIA Emergency Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, municipal protection and rescue services from Podgorica, Bar and Ulcinj.

The round table, opened by the General Director of the Directorate for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of the Interior, Mirsad Mulić, discussed examples of good practice in flood management, risk assessment and personal and collective protective equipment. One of the topics was the EU Floods Directive.

“Floods are one of the most common natural disasters that cause significant material damage and very often endanger human lives. It is very important for the state to have a system in place and to have adequate capacity to respond to this azard. So far, we have had a lot of experience in Montenegro in terms of floods, and we have the greatest experience from 2010/2011 years when floods severely endangered a large part of material assets and to a significant extent we can say that a number of human lives were in danger. The reason for this is that we have constantly worked to improve the flood protection and rescue system and that the Government adopted a national flood protection plan in December this year. Total of 18 municipalities have their own municipal flood protection plans, which is a good basis for having a quality, successful, fast and efficient response to floods,” Mulić said.

The round table was preceded by a two-day seminar on this topic, held in February in Shkodra, which provided an opportunity for participants – representatives of institutions and services involved in protection and rescue to hear from colleagues from the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service about experiences and examples of good practice when in terms of activities aimed at improving protection and rescue in the event of floods.

The round table was organized as part of the project “Disasters do not know the borders”, implemented in Montenegro by FORS Montenegro and the Ministry of Emergency Management of Montenegro. The project is funded by the European Union under the Montenegro-Albania Cross-Border Cooperation Program and co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration in Montenegro. The contracting authority for the project is the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro – Directorate for Financing and Contracting of EU Assistance Funds (CFCU). The aim of the project, which is being implemented in Montenegro and Albania, is to strengthen the capacities of institutions and services involved in protection and rescue for disaster risk reduction, with an emphasis on flood protection, as well as informing the population about flood risks.

As part of this two-year project, which began on April 17, 2018, flood protection and rescue equipment worth 77,880 euros was purchased, as well as weather forecasting equipment worth 19,305 euros. In addition, several training and exercises were held for representatives of institutions and services dealing with protection and rescue and forecasting, as well as a series of activities within the population awareness campaign on flood risks, preventive measures and protection and rescue activities.

The project is being implemented in Montenegro in the municipalities of Podgorica, Bar and Ulcinj, and in Albania in the Shkodra region, in partnership with Shkoder Prefecture.

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