July 11, 2024 | Thursday

Kosovo Demining Action – Ensuring safety and opening tourism development paths

The action aims to return land previously contaminated by cluster munitions and landmines in Kosovo back to local communities for their safe and productive use, thus protecting civilian women and men, securing their livelihoods and enabling sustainable development and further growth. The action will contribute to the Kosovo government’s pronounced goal of making Kosovo mine free.

Over 400,000 m2 contaminated by mines and 3 600 000 m2 by cluster munition remnants will be cleared and return to the communities thanks to Kosovo Demining Action – Clearance of Mines and Cluster Munitions carried out by Norwegian People’s Aid and Halo Trust People with the generous support of the EU.  Local communities need to ensure that their land is safe before they can use it productively. 

Aside from returning land previously contaminated by cluster munitions and landmines in Kosovo back to local communities, the Kosovo Demining Action creates great employment opportunities for communities living around these areas. HALO has recruited, trained, equipped and deployed four mine clearance teams. 

It is important to note that most of the remaining hazardous areas are located in natural reserves, mountains, and forests, on pastures and agricultural land, directly obstructing the safety of the people living in these areas but also tourism development opportunities. Land release of these areas will enable the revival of tourism, recreational activities, and environmental protection. 

Kosovo should see both direct and indirect benefits of clearance, which range from an increase in productive land to cultivate, the number of livestock owned by communities, and an increase in tourism or other traffic in their areas after clearance. Several business owners reported that they also anticipate being able to hire more people as a direct result of clearance, thus contributing to the improved economic situation of the local population and further development opportunities within affected communities and across Kosovo.