Sava River Commission – Technical, Legal, Stakeholder, and Secretariat Support
US Government (USAID and EPA) and Japan Special Fund
Beneficiary countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia
The main components of the project are:
- to provide administrative support to the Sava Commission and its working groups by fulfilling the function of the secretariat;
- to support the establishment of the Sava Commission on the basis of sound constituent documents and to provide further legal expertise to the development of four priority protocols to the Framework Agreement;
- to assist the Sava Commission in developing and implementing a strategy to reach and involve key stakeholders throughout the Sava River Basin.
The Sava River was once a major commercial waterway that connected the Adriatic Sea to the Danube River and Western Europe. It was a major internal trade route in what was Yugoslavia. In 2002, the four countries through which the river flows today (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia) embarked on a process to re-establish a regime to protect and make use of the river.
The Sava River Initiative was established with the assistance of international donors and organisations — including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — under the auspices of the Stability Pact and the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI). It represents a major step forward in the normalisation of relations and commerce after a decade of conflict. The basis for the regime is an integrated system of river basin management aimed at the sustainable development of the Sava River basin, covering numerous elements such as navigation, flood control, and environmental protection.
USAID and the EPA, through their contractors Booz Allen Hamilton and the REC, have provided technical, stakeholder, legal, and secretariat support to the effort. This support began with the negotiation of the International Framework Agreement for the Sava River Basin and the establishment of the Interim Sava River Commission. Over the period of the project, USAID and the EPA have supported the development of legal protocols, stakeholder engagement, meetings of various expert working groups, and the development of an interim action plan for achieving Sava River infrastructure projects in the areas of navigation and flood control.
With the coming into force of the Framework Agreement in December 2004, the Interim Sava Commission’s work will come to an end and a permanent Sava River Commission will be set up in Zagreb.