Report on the state of environment


Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99
18 Dec 2013, 13:58


Raport per gjendjen e mjedisit 2011-2012
Report on the state of environment
Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency


report (static source)
2 years


Policy makers (national level), Civil society & NGOs, Public, Media
Law of Environment Protection (Law No. 03/L-025)


How are indicators used Primarily (>50%) Ocasionally (<50%) None
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Focus Indicators
(ocasionally mentioned)
None Several
Air pollution - - - - - -
Biodiversity - - - - - -
Chemicals - - - - - -
Climate change - - - - - -
Environment and health - - - - - -
Land use - - - - - -
Natural resources - - - - - -
Noise - - - - - -
Soil - - - - - -
Waste and material resources - - - - - -
Water - - - - - -
Various other issues - - - - - -
Agriculture - - - - - -
Energy - - - - - -
Fisheries - - - - - - - -
Household consumption - - - - - -
Industry - - - - - -
Green economy - - - - - -
Tourism - - - - - -
Transport - - - - - -
Environmental technology - - - - - - - -
Policy instruments - - - - - -
Environmental scenarios - - - - - - - -
Coast and seas - - - - - - - -
Specific regions - - - - - - - -
Urban environment - - - - - - - -

Short description from SERIS (old):

Drafting of the state of environment report in Kosovo, is based on Law of Environment Protection. According to Article 25 of this law, the Government of Kosovo with the proposal of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning presents the state of environment report to the Assembly of Kosovo. The report should contain data on: environmental state, and changes in environment compared to the previous report; environmental impacts on the population health; implementation of environmental strategy and action plan; measures for environment protection; use of natural resources; development of environmental institutions, and financing the environmental protection system. AIR Air quality monitoring in Kosovo is conducted by the Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency, through the Hydrometeorological Institute. Several operators such as KEK and “Feronikeli” have their own air quality monitoring systems. According to the results of air quality monitoring by HMIK for 2012, for SO2 parameter no exceedances are recorded in any of the monitoring stations, there are no annual exceedances for NO2 as well. However, in Hani i Elezit and Gjilan stations are recorded exceedances of both high and lower assessment thresholds for human health protection (1-hour). No exceedances are recorded at the assessment of ambient air CO concentration, whereas the O3 concentration exceedances in ambient air are recorded at Peja and Hani i Elezit monitoring stations. As for the evaluation of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration in ambient air, as required by Directive 2008/50 and AI Nr.02/2011, exceedances are recorded at stations in Prizren, Gjilan and Hani i Elezit. WATER In the water sector are presented data on water resources of Kosovo, the quality of surface water, and surface water monitoring in river basins. On the territory of Kosovo, in average rainfall the water flow is 3.6 x 109 m3 (121.2 m3/sec). Most of the rivers belong to the Black Sea basin 50.7%, Adriatic Sea 43.5%, and the Aegean Sea 5.8 %. Topographic catchment area of Kosovo is 11.645 km2. The Hydrography of water streams of Kosovo is divided into four river basins: Drini i Bardhe, Ibri, Morava e Binçës and Lepenci. The Drini i Bardhe river has greatest length in kilometres in Kosovo, with 122 km, and the shortest is the Lumëbardhi i Prizrenit with 31 km. Watershed lines (river basins), flow in different directions. Flow ratio ranges from 3.93 l/sec/km2 (Morava e Binçës) to 42.46 l/sec/km2 (Lumëbardhi i Decanit). Monitoring of river water in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo is conducted by the Hydrometeorological Institute. The quality of these rivers is determined by physical, chemical and heavy metal analysis. The monitoring network has a total of 54 monitoring stations. Within the monitoring of physic-chemical parameters, in this report are presented data on the following parameters : the amount of dissolved oxygen (O2 dissolved), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), electrical conductivity, hydrogen ion concentration (pH), nitrate’s nitrogen (N - NO3-), nitrites nitrogen (N - NO2-) , nitrogen in ammonium (N - NH4 +), phosphorus in orthophosphates (P - PO43 -), total phosphorus (poly and ortho). Also, data for the presence of heavy metals in surface waters are presented. Metals monitored are: Lead, Chromium, Cadmium, Copper, Zinc, Iron, LAND / SOIL In this chapter, the report presents data on land use categories, forms of agricultural land loss, land pollution, and threatened environments. The main factors affecting the land loss of in Kosovo are: unplanned extensions of settlements, industrial and sanitary landfills, and erosion. One of the most common forms of agricultural land loss is the changing of land destination from agricultural land into construction land. According to MAFRD, during the period 1999-2008, approximately 2,580.50 hectares of agricultural land has been changed without permission of the relevant authorities. Whereas, designation of 1.690.00 hectares of agricultural land, has been changed with the permission of municipal authorities. According to estimates of MAFRD, about 400 hectares a year, from agriculture land are converted to construction land. Kosovo lacks a soil monitoring system, therefore the KEPA lacks data on soil quality. However, the KEPA has identified 110 polluted and contaminated sites. Of these, 28 sites are considered of high pollution potential and proposed as environmental Hotspots. As environmental hotspots were identified mining dumps with concentration of heavy metals, agricultural waste landfills, sanitary landfills, municipal rehabilitated landfills, hazardous industrial chemicals and radioactivity remaining from the past. It is estimated that approximately 0.091 km2 of Kosovo territory is covered with endangered environments. Hotspots pose high risks to the environment and health of the population in Kosovo. These problems require analysis, impact assessment, implementation of remedial measures and constant monitoring in order to avoid further risks to human health and nature. Due to the lack of a national network for soil quality monitoring, lack of plans and programs for rehabilitation of contaminated land, lack of programs to monitor the use of pesticides and fertilizers, lack of plans and programs for protection of soil from erosion and floods, as well as lack of strategy for soil protection from pollution is recommended to work on: the establishment of an integrated soil monitoring network and continuous monitoring of its quality; design programs, plans and measures for protection of agricultural lands, rehabilitation of contaminated land, to protect the soil from erosion and erosion monitoring; and establishment of control and monitoring systems on the use of pesticides and fertilizers. NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION The state of nature is introduced through data on the number of nature protected areas, protected areas management, the condition of these areas, as well as the state of flora and fauna species. Kosovo has 99 nature protected areas which cover 118505.5 ha (11.4% of the territory of Kosovo). In the list of protected areas are included: 11 Nature Reserves, 2 National Parks, 84 Natural Monuments, 1 Regional Park of Nature and 1 Protected Landscape. During the period 2004-2012, 60 new nature areas were taken under legal protection, among which the expansion of the National Park "Sharri" with about 20 thousand hectares in the municipality of Dragash, and second National Park, "Bjeshkët e Nemuna" with about 60 thousand hectares. 159 other nature areas are proposed to be included in the network of protected areas. Among the protected areas, most of them belong to the category of natural monuments, with botanical, hydrological, geomorphologic and speleological characteristics. Currently, only 4 protected areas have their management bodies. Management of the National Park "Sharri" is performed by the Park Directorate based in Prizren, which operates within the MESP/KEPA. During 2013 is established the Directorate of National Park "Bjeshkët e Nemuna", which also operates under the MESP/KEPA. The Regional Park “Gërmia" is managed by public enterprise "Hortikultura", while the nature monument of special importance "Gadime Cave" is managed by a body that is not under the supervision of local and central institutions. Other nature monuments are managed by the relevant municipal authorities. WASTE Waste management system in Kosovo is not in good condition, and represents one of the major environmental challenges. In average, in Kosovo, the service of municipal waste collection covers 49% of population. Pristina region covers the highest percentage of population with this service by 55%, while the Mitrovica region with the lowest, with only 30%. In urban areas (cities), waste collection service was provided to 90% of the population, while rural areas are covered by this service only about 10%. Biodegradable wastes represent 42%, of total waste generated in Kosovo. The largest amount of disposed waste is recorded in 2011. In that year, in Pristina landfill are disposed off 81,816.63 tonnes, while smaller amount this year is deposited in sanitary landfill in Podujeve (7,115.11 tonnes). The amount of municipal waste generated per person in Kosovo in 2011 was 335 kg, which shows a significant increase in amount of waste per capita, compared with other years. Compared with other regions, the largest annual quantity of waste generated per person is recorded in Pristina region. Average daily waste generated per person in Kosovo for 2011 is 0.9 kg. In 2010 the amount of industrial waste is 580.154 tons, where 36.241 of them are hazardous waste, and the rest non-hazardous waste. The highest amount of waste generated is in the sector of food products and beverages. Most of sanitary landfills are found to be operating under inappropriate conditions. Most of them face the lack of space for waste disposal, waste covering problems, dysfunctional water pumps, and continuous burning of waste. ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH In Kosovo, there is still large number of cases of infectious diseases and of cases of illnesses associated with the state of the environment, especially the diseases that come from air and water pollution. The larger number of cases of water diarrhoea may be related to poor economic and hygienic conditions, quality of drinking water, lack of sanitation, poor waste management. The large number of cases of Hepatitis A is an indicator that shows the low level of hygiene and the use of drinking water from contaminated wells. National Public Health Institute is the responsible institution for monitoring of drinking water quality. It monitors the water quality of drinking water supply companies, and based on regulations reports on the suitability of drinking water. According to these reports, the majority of bacterial residues are found in the water supply systems of small towns / rural areas, although there are reported cases of non-suitability of drinking water quality (mainly bacteriological residues) in public water supply systems. According to data from the monitoring of drinking water sources from the National Institute of Public Health, it is found that pollution of drinking water from bacteriological contamination is greater than from chemical contamination. According to the NIPH, 74% -90% of water wells by are contaminated. The large number of illnesses from respiratory system is an indicator of air pollution. Of the total number of patients enrolled in primary health care, within the group of diseases related to the environment and environmental factors, the largest number belongs to those of respiratory systesm, with 663353 cases a year, or 31.5% of total number of patients. In a survey conducted by the World Bank, it is resulted that based on the coefficients exposure/response, annual concentrations of PM in ambient air, and the data for the exposed population, is estimated that urban air pollution in Kosovo causes 835 premature deaths, 310 new cases of chronic bronchitis, 600 hospital admissions, and 11,600 emergency visits. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES This is another chapter of the report, whereby the aim is to present the extent to which the Kosovo Environmental Strategy and Environmental Action Plan are implemented, the progress in the development of sectoral strategies and action plans, and actions of local authorities to address the environmental concerns. Also, this chapter summarizes the key measures and actions taken by various institutions to improve the environment. It includes measures undertaken on drafting the environmental legislation and its harmonization with European legislation, developments and obstacles on strengthening of environmental institutions, and investments for environmental protection. During 2010-2012, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning has revised Strategy for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development 2005-2015 and the Action Plan for the Environment. As a result of this process, the Strategy for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development 2013-2022 is drafted. During 2011, the Kosovo Assembly adopted the Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity 2010-2020, and in process of approval are the Waste Strategy and Action Plan; and Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan. In this period Kosovo Institutions have started development of other strategic documents such as: Kosovo Water Strategic Plan, Climate Change Strategy, and several other strategies as stipulated by the environmental legislation and that are necessary for more effective environmental management. Besides drafting of environmental legislation a special attention is given to harmonizing the national legislation with the European one. During the period 2010-2012, parts of environmental investments are oriented in rehabilitation of several landfills, and the closure of old municipal and industrial waste landfills. Other MESP investments are carried in the implementation of projects for the construction of seven centres for sterilization of infectious hospital waste, as well as the implementation of the project for hazardous waste, by constructing the facility for temporary storage of hazardous waste. In water sector, is invested in regulation of riverbeds, and the development of feasibility studies for wastewater treatment. Donor investments have been dedicated towards capacity building and improving the environment in general, but also in establishing the environment monitoring networks.

Overview of table of contents and indicators in report

1.Kosovo profile (Geographical position, Relief, Climate, Hydrography, Socio-economical characteristics) 2. Air (Monitoring and assessment of air emissions , Air quality monitoring and assessment, Conclusions and recommendations) 3. Water (Water resources , Water quality monitoring, Conclusions and recommendations) 4. Land/Soil (Land use, Soil pollution, Environmental hotspots, Conclusions and recommendations) 5. Nature protection and biodiversity (Protected areas – state, The National Park “Sharri”, Conclusions and recommendations) 6. Waste (Municipal waste, Industrial waste, Landfills, Conclusions and recommendations) 7. Environment and public health (Environmental impacts on public health, Drinking water quality and public health , Air quality and public health, Conclusions and recommendations) 8. Measures of environmental protection (Implementation of Kosovo environment strategy and action plans, Sectorial strategies and action plans, Development of local environmental action plans, Development of legislation and EU approximation, Investments on environmental protection , Development an challenges in strengthening the environmental institutions)