Environmental Management in Kosovo. Heavy Metal emission from Trepca

Signe Ditte Frese, Eske Kock Pedersen & Rune Klitgaard

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Through an interdisciplinary approach based on natural and social science, this project attempts to tease out some valuable lessons and guidelines relating to environmental management that may be utilised in the post-conflict UN governed transition economy of Kosovo, a territory with no effective environmental management in the past. The project focuses on the environmental impact that a huge dormant lead and zinc mining facility, named Trepca causes. The natural science investigations have thus focused on to determine the extent of the heavy metal pollution of the nearby river and found that the mining waste is still a very significant source of heavy metal pollution to the river, where the levels of in particular lead and cadmium were found to many times higher than WHO standards. On the basis of this it is argued that the heavy metal contamination of the area presents a significant health risk to the local population (a sizeable town of 300,000 inhabitants) and action must be taken to eliminate this risk. The project analyses some legislative tools with reference to the EU that may help Kosovo’s environmental management of Trepca and mining in general in the future. The project continues to contextualise how and why environmental issues as Trepca might be tackled and prioritised when considering that Kosovo has many other development issues to tackle, such as poverty, lack of economic growth and lack of safe drinking water for its inhabitants, and only has very limited funds available. Through a discussion of other transition countries experiences with balancing different conflicting development objectives, it is argued that it is important not too focus too much on other development issues such as economic growth, at the expense of the environment. It is argued that Kosovo stands on a threshold of a new era, at least seen from an environmental point of view and should take advantage of the experiences other transition and developing countries have had by introducing environmental management policies from the put set and thereby avoiding many future environmental and health problems in the long run. Explicitly it means that explicit environmental policies and legislation needs to be in place in a transition country like Kosovo and that if a clean up of Trepca is prioritised, despite its large financial costs, it is possible that it will present some win-win situations where both environmental objectives and economic objectives are fulfilled.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2004
VejledereBørge Klemmensen