Transfer of TIM Sites Inspection Responsibility from KFOR to MESP
Left to right – Minister for Kosovo Security Force, Mr Agim Ceku, Kosovo Force Commander (COM KFOR), Major General Erhard Bühler, Minister for Environment and Spatial Planning, Mr Dardan Gashi
Today’s ceremony is a significant milestone in Kosovo’s development and further demonstrates the continued close cooperation between the Institutions of Kosovo (IiK) and KFOR. The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) will now begin to take responsibility for the inspection and safe management of most Industrial Toxic Materials (TIM) sites Kosovo-wide, thereby providing a safer environment for all the citizens of Kosovo.
The TIM inspection program has been administered by KFOR since 1999 and has identified one hundred and seventeen sites across Kosovo that currently constitute a TIM hazard. During the last number of years the KFOR Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) teams have been conducting TIM site inspections in close coordination with MESP inspectors. Over time, this program continued to evolve, and now encompasses not only MESP but also the Agency of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Kosovo Security Force (KSF). This active participation has been welcomed as the KFOR mission continues to evolve; and through an intensive training, mentoring and monitoring process, IiK has now developed its own capability in regard to TIM management.
As part of this capability development, and with approval of the MESP, KFOR will now transfer the responsibility for the inspection of the low and medium risk TIM sites to MESP, and simultaneously hand over the related TIM database, which records the recent history of the sites. As part of the transfer process, all TIM sites have been reviewed and those sites which are considered a high risk, or pose a threat to a safe and secure environment, will remain under KFOR inspections program. This accounts for twenty three of the one hundred and seventeen sites. As MESP continues to gain experience and increases its inspection and monitoring capabilities, KFOR will establish a date at which MESP assumes full responsibility for the remaining twenty three sites. The transfer procedures, responsibilities and future coordination procedures have all been drafted and approved by KFOR and MESP as part of a joint working group.
This ceremony marks a unique point in sustainable development in Kosovo and one that KFOR has been proud to facilitate.