The National Audit Office has started auditing performance in the field of energy and environment

The National Audit Office of Kosovo has started the performance audit in the field of energy and environment with the topic “Licensing system of hydropower plants and their impact on the environment and water (2015 – 2021)”. Addressing this audit topic is of particular importance as the use of water for electricity generation must be done in the right way without affecting the quality and flow of water.

Various media reports and initial research in the planning phase in this area show that there are indications that the hydropower licensing process is characterized by shortcomings and lack of transparency. There are also indications for lack of coordination between the responsible parties during the licensing process, lack of proper supervision by the responsible institutions that consequently the environment may be endangered by this activity. The impact that this activity has on the environment and the initial indicators of problems in this area have served the NAO to start this audit.

The objective of this audit is to evaluate the issuance of licenses for hydropower plants and the activities of public institutions for environmental protection from the activity of hydropower plants. The main purpose of this audit is to contribute to the improvement of the licensing process and to ensure that water use is done more efficiently and effectively achieving the intended purpose and to ensure the protection of water and the environment.

The Energy Regulatory Office will be subject to the audit process; Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure; The Ministry of Economy as well as the municipalities of Dragash, Mitrovica, Deçan and the municipality of ërtrpce. Also, the Kosovo Forest Agency and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports may be subject to audit, depending on whether they are related to the audited field. Within these institutions, the focus of the audit will be the permitting departments and the departments of the inspectorate related to the impact on the environment and water. The scope will focus on the issuance of licenses for hydropower plants during the years 2015-2020 and their impact on the environment and water.

The main goal of building hydropower plants in Kosovo is to reach the 25% target in line with the agreement of the established EU Directive 2019/32 / EC for the production of renewable energy by 2020, reducing the impact on the environment and water. In Kosovo during the years 2015-2020, about 20 small hydropower plants were built which offer a production capacity of about 86 MW. Hydropower plants should be built in concession with public institutions, equipped and implement the rules and criteria of environmental permits in order to protect water and the environment and ensure the quality of water supply and their flow.

The activities of each institution responsible for the construction of hydropower plants and their operation in order to generate electricity must be carried out in accordance with the principles of compliance, economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Also provide transparency and equal treatment for economic operators who aim to use water for energy production.

The NAO is committed to addressing relevant and important topics for the Assembly of Kosovo and its citizens by providing useful recommendations for protecting the environment and strengthening the rule of law in Kosovo.

A criminal report is submitted for the degradation of the waterfall and Mirusha park

NGO Active Citizens has filed a criminal report regarding the degradation of the Natural Monument “Waterfalls and Mirusha Park” declared as a special area, related to the project: Cleaning the environment and repairing the pedestrian and bicycle lane with lighting and recreation from the regional road Klina -Jakova to Mirusha Waterfall, reports Ekonomia Online.

Flutura Zymi from this organization said that the officials involved of the Municipality of Klina and the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning, Infrastructure MESP, with their actions and omissions have committed criminal offenses of degradation or destruction of the environment according to Article 338 of the Criminal Code of Kosovo. illegal permitting of installations that pollute the environment article 340, abuse of trust article 330 as well as abuse of official position or authority sanctioned by article 414 of the Criminal Code.

“The project initiated by the Municipality of Klina on 19.07.2019 is not foreseen in the spatial plan of Mirusha, there was no public debate or decision by the Assembly of Kosovo or the Municipal Assembly, then on 31.07.2019 MESP authorizes the project with the start and implementation of procurement procedures, in the amount of 384 00 euros without environmental permit, without construction permit, without environmental impact assessment without environmental report and without the recommendations of the Kosovo Institute for Nature Protection and at the same time the project has no eligibility assessment for ecological network which is mandatory according to the Law on Nature Protection ”.

According to her, the project in question has degraded zones 1 and 2 which is a strict zone, they have intervened in the existing path in a width of 2 meters by degrading it to 10 to 15 meters for 2.3 km, an intervention which has affected the characteristics and values ​​for which Mirusha has been declared a Natural Monument according to Article 14 of the Law on Nature Protection, reports EO.

Swedish Ambassador to Kosovo Karin Hernmarck: Polluted air has serious health consequences

Air quality is vital for the health of the citizens of Kosovo

The Swedish Embassy in Kosovo has launched the third consecutive campaign ‘Talking about the air’ in cooperation with the green journalism platform ‘BB Green Kosova’.

“Let’s talk about the air”, is a campaign organized by the Swedish Embassy in Kosovo, with the creator and creator of the digital campaign launched in 2019, Ambassador Karin Hernmarck.

The campaign will be extended in the media and digital aspect, through social networks, in which case, this year, the aim of the campaign was to bring closer to the citizens, but also to the politicians themselves, through the stories of journalists, interviews and daily reports. the importance of air quality, but also the consequences of its pollution.

We need to talk about the air, its pollution, which is caused every day by power plants, especially during the winter, here in Kosovo, and in general, from fuels or other pollutants.

The campaign started on December 1 and will continue until February 28, 2022, and during these days, every week will be published interviews of different profiles showing what damage is constantly caused by polluted air in terms of health and environment. .

The peculiarity of the third edition is that, in addition to the inclusion of green journalists from Kosovo in this campaign, the journalist Lennart Berggren from Sweden will also report, who will focus on Swedish heating and insulation techniques. So, in addition to talking about the situation, during the campaign will come some Swedish solutions, in this regard.

Demolition of the asbestos tiled building by the NBP

The Ministry of Environment published the results of the analyzes carried out in Germany.

Asbestos demolition of the buildings in the Lakrishtë neighborhood of Prishtina by the Public Housing Enterprise belongs to the 3rd degree (20%), waste carcinogens with a very high risk of contamination.

The Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure has published the result made in a laboratory in Germany. 10.2021, we sent the Asbestos material to the Laboratory of Germany, in which case the microscopic examination of the scanning of the Asbestos sample according to the instruction “VDI 3866 and CRB REM PA” was done, it is said in the announcement.

Air quality in Kosovo in the global air quality report

According to the IQAir World Air Quality Report 2019, which collected and compared air quality data from over 4000 global cities, Kosovo is ranked as the 3️⃣0️⃣ most polluted region worldwide in an included list of 98 countries and regions.

You can meet the dinosaur Dino at the Kosovo government

Today at 17:00 at the building of the government of Kosovo is done the projection of the silhouette of the dinosaur in the continuation of the campaign ‘Do not Choose to Exterminate’.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kosovo together with the Office of the Prime Minister will design a dinosaur silhouette in the Government building to mark the closing of the COP26 global climate summit and promote the global climate change campaign entitled Do Not Exterminate .

UNDP Resident Representative Maria Suokko together with Ulrika Richardson UN Development Coordinator, representatives of the diplomatic community and representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Presidency, the MP, the Ministry will be present for the projection of Dino on the walls of building.

The aim of the one-year global campaign is to raise awareness of the urgency to move away from using fossil fuels and switching to cleaner energy, and one of its key features is the character of Frankie the Dino (Frenkie Dinosaur), who, on behalf of its species, sends a message that we must act now – before the threat of humanity’s extinction becomes a reality.

The event will also be attended by Dino, who worked in Kosovo for conversation and photography with the participants./BB Green Kosova

EU Kosovo report 2021, findings on environment and climate change

Kosovo is at an early stage of preparation on environment and climate change. Progress Limited was achieved during the reporting period, notably on environmental reporting and air quality monitoring. In order to be aligned with the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans goals, Kosovo needs to increa se its political commitment to address environmental degradation and climate change challenges. All recommendations from the previous report are still pending. In the coming year, Kosovo should in particular:

  • establish an effective water monitoring system, publish data and undertake urgent and permanent measures to reduce air and water pollution;
  • continue to increase the waste collection coverage, notably with the introduction of separation of waste and recycling, introduce circular economy measures to reduce waste and address effectively the issue of illegal dumpsites;
  • enforce legal provisions on environmental liability, damage and crime; implement the polluter pays principle and create and start a permanent campaign for raising public awareness on envi ronmental protection;
  • implement the climate change strategy and the action plan on climate change, prepare a roadmap for alignment with the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans and climate acquis , adopt a National E nergy and Climate Plan, in line with the Energy Community requirements and start drafting the long term decarbonisation strategy.

High pollution from coal power plants in Kosovo

Pollution from coal-fired power plants in Kosovo increased instead of decreasing during 2020, according to a report published today by the CEE Bankwatch Network and the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research (CREA), in cooperation with the Balkan Green Foundation.

Unlike other countries in the region, where sulfur dioxide is the biggest problem, in Kosovo the highest violations come from dust emissions. In 2020 these reached 4.25 times above the legal limit, to 5,867 tons, a significant increase from 5,042 tons emitted during the years 2018 – 2019.

The data has not yet been made public. The Kosovo B2 unit emitted 6.64 times above the permissible limit, making it the largest polluter.

Sulfur emissions were also 1.8 times above the limit allowed in 2020, with 19,987 tons in total. This was a significant increase compared to 2018 (14,232 tons), despite a comparable number of working hours.

Kosovo had the largest violation of nitric oxide limits in 2020, 1.65 times more than allowed. Emissions also increased significantly during 2018 and 2020 – reaching 22,846 tons, almost 3,700 tons more than in 2018.

The Large Combustion Power Plant Directive – an EU directive to reduce emissions of hazardous substances, adapted for countries that are parties to the Energy Community Treaty – legally requires these countries to curb air pollution from their power plants since 2018.

However, according to the report, in 2020, the 18 coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans emitted two and a half times more sulfur dioxide than all 221 coal-fired power plants in the EU combined.

The full press release can be found here.

Biodiversity and its impact on environment

Biodiversity makes the earth habitable. Biodiverse ecosystems provide nature-based solutions that buffer us from natural disasters such as floods and storms, filter our water and regenerate our soils.

The clearance of over 35% of the world’s mangroves for human activities has increasingly put people and their homes at risk from floods and sea-level rise. If today’s mangroves were lost, 18 million more people would be flooded every year (an increase of 39%) and annual damages to property would increase by 16% ($82 billion).

Protecting and restoring natural ecosystems is vital to fighting climate change. Nature-based solutions could provide 37% of the cost-effective CO2 mitigation needed by 2030 to maintain global warming within 2°C (35.6 F).

Natural ecosystems provide the foundations for economic growth, human health and prosperity. Our fate as a species is deeply connected to the fate of our natural environment.

As ecosystems are increasingly threatened by human activity, acknowledging the benefits of biodiversity is the first step in ensuring that we look after it. We know biodiversity matters. Now, as a society, we should protect it – and in doing so, protect our own long-term interests.

Reposted with permission from World Economic Forum.

377 mandatory fines were imposed on environmental polluters during the months of March – July 2021

Number of Mandatory Fines of the Administrative Instruction, no. 06/2018 imposed for the five-month period (March, April, May, June and July 2021) for environmental polluters is a total of 377. In addition to Mandatory Fines, some of the municipalities have sent applications to the Court, Verbal Proceedings and Request for Court within environmental issues, as follows:

Additional information:

The Inspector of Environmental Protection from the Municipality of Ferizaj, Nazlime Sejdiu, said that the large influx of migrants has led to an increase in consumption and with the latter to increase the amount of waste while the capacity of cleaning companies is small. She also stressed that from next week the situation with waste problems will stabilize.

As for the Municipalities: Fushë Kosovë, Vushtrri, Kaçanik, Deçan and Skenderaj we have not had reports from responsible persons.

The NGO “Let’s Do It”, which monitors at the municipal level, announces that the monitoring of the implementation of the Administrative Instruction on Mandatory Fines will continue in the coming months and thanks the municipal environmental inspectors for their cooperation and readiness to share data in order to that through the reporting of Mandatory Fines to raise awareness of polluters in order to create a cleaner environment throughout the territory of Kosovo.