A new initiative has been launched to support authorities, investors and developers to implement international good practices in hydropower development in the Western Balkans.

Launched by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the Albanian Power Corporation (KESH) and the Swiss government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the three-year initiative will start in early 2021. 

The initiative will see IHA Sustainability, the organisation's non-profit subdivision, work with project developers, alongside regulators, investors and civil society organisations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

"One of the main outcomes of this programme of support will be to ensure local stakeholders from the Western Balkans are better equipped with the necessary tools to understand and assess the sustainability performance of hydropower projects in line with internationally recognised guidelines,” explained Alain Kilajian, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA. "Reaching key decision-makers as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the training programme will strengthen institutional capacity and widen awareness about the good practice requirements expected of all hydropower projects and provide a common language to discuss important sustainability concerns in the region.

"The aim is to ensure hydropower projects comply with the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, a set of guidelines and assessment tools developed by governments, industry and social and environmental NGOs. These tools are aligned with lending criteria used by international institutions such as the World Bank and International Finance Corporation."

The training programme will examine all aspects of project development, including siting and design, community consultation, biodiversity and environmental risk management. With a combination of face-to-face workshops, e-learning and webinars, in-country and remote support, participants will become proficient in using the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and will participate in an assessment of a hydropower project in Albania.  

To enquire interest about this initiative and training opportunities please contact sustainability@hydropower.org

Fierza Hydroelectric Power Station operated by KESH