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NATO supports earthquake security in the Balkan region
On October 2, NATO’s “Science for Peace and Security” Programme launched a project on “Harmonization of Seismic Hazard Maps for the Western Balkan Countries” Podgorica, Montenegro. The project is aimed at addressing the problems resulting from frequent and devastating earthquakes in the region.
Six NATO Partner countries will draw benefits from this initiative, namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, Montenegro and Serbia.
The project will contribute to enhanced cooperation between the six countries in disaster preparedness and prevention. Furthermore, it will provide a proper base for adapting technical norms to the standards defined by the European Union.
In addition to the NATO funding, the project is also supported in-kind by Slovenia, with Turkish and Greek seismologists sharing their expertise with their colleagues form the Balkan countries.
This project was approved by the NATO Committee on Science for Peace and Security in spring 2007.
Building environmental security through cooperation
A launching ceremony held in Podgorica, Montenegro marked the beginning of the project. It was attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Mr. Milan Rocen, the Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr. Zoran Begovic, and the Deputy Minister for Defence, Vice Admiral Dragan Samardzic.
In his welcome speech, Minister Rocen said: “The work of our experts with their NATO colleagues on a project of common interest will contribute to better relations and understanding, exchange of information, adoption of best standards, and in such way, to stability and security of our environment, which is a precondition for security of our countries and our speedy road for the EU and NATO.”
With this initiative, NATO responds to a request for cooperation in the area of Environmental Security, which each of the Balkans countries has identified as a national priority.
1. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.