Introductory meeting of the project "Art, Plastic and Recycling"

IPA Cross-border Program between Albania and Montenegro,

The first introductory meeting of the project "Art, Plastics and Recycling” was held at the premises of the University "Marin Barleti", on 3 July 2012.

The meeting was attended by more than 40 participants including representatives of local government units of Shkodra District, representatives of civil society and non governmental organizations, as well as UMB staff and students.

The meeting was opened by Prof. Dr. Mareglen Spiro, Rector of the University of ’Marin Barleti’, who welcomed the participants and introduced guest speakers. In his opening statement, Prof. Spiro, mentioned UMB’s commitment to contribute on various projects for community support and environmental protection. He thanked the EU Delegation in Albania for their support to UMB and welcomed further collaboration as environment mainstreaming in EU gained momentum.

In his speech, Mr. Ivan Manzano Barragan representative of EU Delegation in Albania, meanwhile manager of IPA CBC Program Albania - Montenegro, explained the objective of IPA CBC Program to promote cooperation between people, communities and institutions on the bordering areas aiming at sustainable development, stability and prosperity in the mutual interest of citizens of the two countries. He congratulated UMB and his Montenegrin partner CSTI and wished good luck on the project implementation.

The representatives of local government units, Mr. Nektar Dume (Shkodra Municipality), Mr. Lirim Nani (Mayor of "Gruemire" Commune) and Mr. Isa Ramaj (Mayor of "Qender Koplik" Commune) expressed their appreciation for this project, its importance on protecting the environment of the Shkodra Lake and their willingness to cooperate and be part of the project.

Mr. Besnik Kasemi, Executive Director of Deliart Association, spoke on behalf of the UMB partners. The focus of his presentation was Deliart’s mission and activity, emphasizing the social and environmental commitment of the organization and brought up to date successful cooperation between Deliart Association and UMB.

In his keynote address Dr. Gazmend Zeneli, UMB project manager, emphasized the problems concerning waste and waste management in Shkodra Lake area in both sides of the border. He mentioned the need to devote great attention to the threats posed by environmental problems. He noted that, despite the progress made over the last ten years, implementation action had been lacking. Continuing, he presented the project objectives, planed activities and the expected results. In closing, he pledged continued cooperation with local government units as the main beneficiaries of this project.

During the questions and discussions section, several participants congratulated the UMB for the initiatives and expressed their willingness to contribute to this project.