International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

Case Studies


Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Kosovo

The constitution of Kosovo contains provisions for the protection of the environment. Article 7 reads:

“The constitutional order of the Republic of Kosovo is based on the principles of freedom, peace, democracy, equality, respect for human rights and freedoms and the rule of law, non-discrimination, the right to property, the protection of environment, social justice, pluralism, separation of state powers, and a market economy.

The Republic of Kosovo ensures gender equality as a fundamental value for the democratic development of the society, providing equal opportunities for both female and male participation in the political, economic, social, cultural and other areas of societal life.”

Article 52 outlines the responsibility for the environment. It states:

1. Nature and biodiversity, environment and national inheritance are everyone's responsibility.
2. Everyone should be provided an opportunity to be heard by public institutions and have their opinions considered on issues that impact the environment in which they live.
3. The impact on the environment shall be considered by public institutions in their decision making processes.

Featured Legislation

Below the relevant primary and secondary legislation regarding the environmental protection and climate change

2005:Law No.2004/09-MESP “on the Cadastre of Environmental Polluter Emissions. Forms and Instructions on Form Application”, dated 03.08.2005, was implemented by the Assembly of Kosovo

2009: Law No. 03/L-025 “on Environmental Protection” was approved by the Assembly of Kosovo and promulgated by the President Decree on 19.03.2009, it repealed the AI No.02/2004 and the Regulation No. 9/2003.

2012: Law No. 04/L-117 “on road and ecological tax for vehicles” was presented by the AoK on 06.09.2012 and promulgated by Presidential Decree No. DL-040-2012, dated 19.09.2012, repealing the UNMIK Regulation No 2005/14

2012: Law No. 17/2012 “Register for the plants with a verified presence of hazardous substances” was instituted.

2013: Law No. 04/L-175 “on the inspectorate of environment, waters, nature, spatial planning and construction” was enacted and promulgated by Presidential Decree No. DL-053-2013.

2014: Reg. No. 03/2014 “of responsibilities, internal organization and systematization of jobs in the agency of environmental protection of Kosovo”, repealed Reg. No. 13/2011, adding more accountability measures for the agencies tasked with protecting the environment.

2014: Reg No. 22/2014, “for the manner and sampling procedures by inspector”, was passed.

2015: Reg No. 03/2015, “on authorization for scientific research in nature”, was ratified by the Assembly of Kosovo.

2015: Reg No. 21/2015, “on form and contents of records for supervision of inspection”, was tabled by the Assembly of Kosovo, making strides in record-keeping practices.

2016: Law No.05/L-044 “on the environmentally endangered zone of Obliq and its surroundings” was created by the Assembly of Kosovo on 30.11.2016.

Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) facilitated training exercises in December 2021, helping Kosovo combat environmental crime. Attendees included police officers, prosecutors, judges, municipal officials, and representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development. Illegal logging and hazardous waste dumping have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic and officials need to understand the nature of said crimes, building capacity to study techniques and to prevent the great risk they pose to human health, the environment and economic prosperity The training course increased the knowledge of participants on identifying, preventing and combating environmental crimes. The course also enhanced participants’ ability to co-operate and understand how to take joint and co-ordinated actions against such crimes. The Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Liburn Aliu addressed participants at the concluding session. This was done alongside Jan-Axel Voss, Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy in Prishtinë/Priština, and Riza Shillova, Directorate for Strategic Planning of Kosovo Police. Integrated approaches are needed to strengthen the criminal justice system to protect the environment. Two emergent approaches are needed to protect the environment: fighting environmental crime and educating young generations to protect the environment. While the OSCE Mission in Kosovo is mandated with protecting the environment, it also takes on a more holistic approach to promoting human rights, democratization and public safety sector development. The Mission will continue to support activities tackling environmental crime until 2022.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) – Environmental Protection and Water Department (EPWD), Muhamet Malsiu: Muhamet.Malsiu@rks-gov.net