6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where we are?

Mountain View


4.25% of Kosovo’s territory is under protected natural areas

Only 4.25% of Kosovo’s territory is under protected natural areas, counting a surface of 46 437 /ha. Another 195 areas are proposed to be protected accounting for more than 50000 hectares. When such initiatives will take place, Kosovo will have protected almost 10% of its land area, which could help meet the target. Degradation of forests (over-harvesting of fuel wood, illegal hunting, spread of fire, illegal trade of species, un-controlled and illegal construction, sand and gravel mining in rivers and mountains) has a negative effect on protection of biodiversity, extinction of species and habitat loss especially in Dragash region which contains most of the rare and endangered species in Kosovo. There are 27 taxa of rare and endangered plant species, and 10 taxa of protected species of rare and endangered mammals. If no adequate institutional attention is given to the protection of these species, Kosovo runs the risk to allow some of them to go extinct.

Where does Kosovo stand

Around 73% of the population is supplied by the water management system. Of the total quantity of water produced, only 50% is sold, the other 50% is either lost from the system through leakages (technical losses) or not billed (commercial losses). Around 27% of the population uses other water supplies, mostly household wells. The quality of water from wells is not controlled or disinfected; users are prone to toxics, infections and diseases, also because there is no wastewater treatment in Kosovo. Sewerage is dispersed into open areas. The first urban wastewater treatment plant has been constructed in Skenderaj but it is not fully operational. Around 71% of Albanians, 69% of Serbs and 80% of other minorities are connected to sewerage systems.  There is no system for monitoring sewage discharge and treatment of municipal wastewater is virtually non-existent.

Only a few Kosovo Force (KFOR) camps and the hospital complex of Pristina have biological treatment plants. The environmental situation in Kosovo requires extensive research, analysis and evaluation; the outcomes require new and reliable data and lack of those, makes it difficult to determine the progress on the field.  Overall environmental situation in Kosovo continues to be worrisome, with some observations from the field which show no significant improvement today. Contamination of water bodies by discharging wastewater to the rivers is continuing, as there is almost no wastewater treatment plant. Pollution of air due to operation of power plants, traffic and other industrial facilities remains the same. Kosovo environmental legislation is building up and it is being harmonized with the EU legislation. However, enforcement and implementation of laws is still weak.

UNDP's work in Kosovo

  • Marking the Earth Day through Inter-Municipal Cooperation

    "It's very cool to be here. I am with my friends and our teacher and today for all of us is a very special day. We have gathered to mark the Earth Day, on this beautiful Sunday, with music and dancing but far more important with a mission that needs to be fulfilled: to preserve our nature by cleaning and raising awareness that the environment needs to be kept clean at all times".more

  • UNDP Supports Institutions to Combat Climate Change in Kosovo

    In the presence of Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Shpetim Rudi, Czech Republic Ambassador to Kosovo, Jiri Dolezel, Chief Executive of the Kosovo Environment protection Agency, Ilir Morina, UN Development Coordiantor and UNDP Resident Representative, Osnat Lubrani, high MESP officials and representatives of other relevant institutions, experts from Charles University in Prague presented initial Inventory of the Grennhouse Gas in Kosovo.more

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums