The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in SEE supported the Memorial Drina-Sava Regatta “Vitomir Dizdarevic – Admiral Kuk 2013” was organized for the fourteenth time by the Kayak Club “Srpski veslaci” (Serbian rowers) in the period from 27th of April until 5th of May 2013. More than 50 participants from 7 countries participated at this event which connects two rivers: Drina and Sava, and two states: Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Regatta started on the Drina river in Ustipraca, Novo Gorazde in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and ended some 300 kilometers downstream, on the river Sava, in Bosut, Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia.
This year’s goal was to raise the awareness of people in the cities located on the path of the Regatta as well as beyond the region, about the importance of the rivers for sustainable development in the future. The Moto was: “Rowing for Cleaner Drina”.
Through the provision of sites for camping, provision of toilets and water and, in some places, food for the participants, the event was also supported by the Committee for Tourism of Kayak Association of Serbia and by the municipalities through which regatta flows,.
In addition to providing promotional material and caps with the logo of regatta and SWG, which served as well as a protection against the hot weather, SWG has covered the cost for the dinner for all participants in the Stari Brod camp at the end of the second day of the regatta.
SWG representatives, Mr. Boban Ilic, SWG Secretary General and Mr. Aleksandar Damnjanovic, SWG Regional Coordinator for the Drina-Sava region, welcomed the participants, wished them good weather and successful regatta. They presented SWG organization and their work in the region and cooperation with the Ministries of the countries in the region. It was pointed out that such events can count on the support of SWG as the organization is working on promoting regional cooperation, raising awareness for the environment, development of tourism, economy and agriculture and regional development in general. All these values are promoted and supported by Kayak club “Srpski veslaci” trough organization of events such this regatta on Drina and Sava rivers.
The presence of SWG representatives was an opportunity for organization of several informal meetings with the local community representatives, who were introduced with the ongoing project activities in “Drina-Sava” cross-border region oriented towards integrated economic development and solving regional problems.
During the dinner in Stari Brod camp, Mr. Ilic and Mr. Damnjanovic had opportunity to talk with the Mayor of Novo Gorazde Municipality (that is traditionally supporting the Regatta), Mr. Dalibor Neskovic. It was underlined that one of the major regional problems, with cross border character – including municipalities of three countries, is the problem of regional landfills located on the banks of the River Drina and Lim, the largest tributary of the Drina. During periods of high water, as in the spring, environmental disaster happens, as a huge amount of waste from landfill is washed and ends up in the Drina River. There is a possibility of collecting the trash in Visegrad and Perucac Lake, on dams, but it is just response to the consequences as a key issue in an integrated, regional waste management. Mr. Neskovic said that Novo Gorazde municipality is interested to find a solution for this problem in cooperation with the SWG