The Timok River originates north of the Svrljig Mountains in the Carpathian-Balkan region in eastern Serbia. Almost the entire river basin (98 percent) is located in Serbia, covering an area of 4,607 km2, and the remaining 2 percent (93 km2) is in Bulgaria. The Timok River is an internationally significant waterway: the lower 17.5 km of the river forms a border between Serbia and Bulgaria, and the Timok flows into the Danube at a point common to the frontiers of Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

For many years, the Timok River basin has been subject to serious degradation and deforestation as a result of uncontrolled mining activities. In particular, ecological damage has been caused in recent years by heavy metal pollution from mines in the municipality of Bor. The continued exploitation of the area threatens the livelihoods of people living on both sides of the border and is a source of pollution of the Danube River.

Although an agreement was signed in 1958 between the governments of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria concerning water management issues, this cooperation was discontinued in 1982.

Under the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), is implementing a project aimed at enhancing dialogue and cooperation between Serbia and Bulgaria and local communities on the Timok River.

The Timok River Forum meeting, held on February 26, 2009 in Vidin, Bulgaria, resulted in the adoption of a joint statement by participants that can be downloaded here. The successful event, which it is hoped will be the first of many, provided a platform for discussions and opportunities for further cooperation.

Please visit the website and check our regular updates on project activities.

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