Author(s): E. Kolokytha; Y. Mylopoulos
Linked Author(s): Elpida Kolokytha
Keywords: Transboundary water management; International cooperation; Hydrodiplomacy; Greece; Nestos river basin
Abstract: Transboundary water management is one of the most important universal problems in the area of environmental protection and sustainable development. Transboundary cooperation is essential for the understanding of problems that occur due to different socioeconomic, administrative and legal status between the border countries and to differences in the objectives and gains from the management of the “common waters” as well. Existing treaties, agreements and cooperation institutions related to shared transboundary water resources need to be analysed in order to understand patterns of behaviour and advantages or flaws of each course of action. Greece has five transboundary rivers crossing N. Macedonia in 4 of which is on the downstream part. The paper examines the perspectives of transboundary cooperation, with the application of hydrodiplomacy principles, in the case of transboundary Nestos/ Mesta river basin between Greece and Bulgaria, and forms a framework for the sustainable economic development of the region. This specific area reveals high importance and special attention mainly due to the extreme sensitivity in relation to further regional development, use of natural resources, preservation of unique natural environment and agricultural land use. To be able to avoid potential conflicts and problems and especially the risk of destruction of valuable ecosystems, in the Delta area of Nestos river, recommendations for effective measures in a consistent and integrated form are presented.