Project - SEE River
Sustainable Integrated Management of
International River Corridors in SEE Countries
European Union SEE Programme

Newsletter No. 1

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SEE River STREAM

Sustainable Integrated Management
of International River Corridors in SEE Countries

Newsletter No. 1

July 2013
www.see-river.net
info@see-river.net

 

Towards contemporary SEE rivers

Dear readers,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you in the SEE River project, under which 26 partner organizations and observers from 12 countries joined to follow ambitious goal on 6 rivers of South Eastern and Central Europe: to develop and apply a model for sustainable development of riverine areas in close cooperation and interaction with stakeholders.

The SEE River project is a continuation of the achievements of Drava River Vision Symposium, held in Maribor, Slovenia, in 2008. At the symposium consensual vision of the participants of how to manage the Drava River to become a contemporary river was articulated in the Drava River Declaration. In the SEE River project it became guidance for the future sustainable development of the Drava River but also an example of good practice for five selected SEE rivers: Bodrog, Neretva, Prut, Soča, and Vjosha.

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Aleš Bizjak, Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia 

Project manager


Alessandra Pala, SEE Program, JTS:

"The South East Europe Programme is a unique instrument which, in the framework of the Regional Policy's Territorial Cooperation Objective, aims to improve integration and competitiveness in an area which is as complex as it is diverse. The programme is in line with the Lisbon and Gothenburg priorities, and is also contributing to the integration process of the non-EU member states."
 

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DEVELOPING FOR ACCEPTABLE PLANNING SCENARIOS IN SOUTH TYROL IN ITALY

For Drava River in South Tyrol in Italy, two river corridors were selected as pilot areas: one is situated between villages of San Candido and Verscacco, the other is located on the Rio Fiscalina upstream of the village of Sesto.

Studies how to reduce flood risk have been conducted for both pilot areas. Within the SEE River project, methods for river corridor management have been elaborated and are now applied primarily in the process of planning and implementing the proposed measures.


 

 

INTENSIVE COLLABORATION AT AUSTRIAN DRAVA RIVER CORRIDOR STARTED IN 1990’S

Many positive aims have been achieved in the Drava River corridor in Austria over the last two decades but new goals and projects are constantly emerging with the purpose to address all existing issues in the catchment area.

 
The Upper Drava in Carinthia (southern Austria) is rich in natural resources. As early as 1998, the river with its riparian zones was placed under protection as a Natura 2000 site. Since 2011 the Upper Drava is an European protected area (SCI). The SEE River pilot action in the Austrian Drava River corridor is intended to address questions concerning flood protection, nature conservation, spatial development, agriculture, energy use and recreation.
 

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FIRST LOCAL WORKSHOP IN DRAVA RIVER CORRIDOR IN SLOVENIA

After organizing national workshop, the Slovene project team already approached local stakeholders in Drava River corridor.

Activities in Drava River pilot area in Slovenia have been very intense from the beginning of the project, using interdisciplinary approach to analyse all aspects of interests and challenges in river corridor section from Melje downstream Maribor to Zavrč. So far, numerous GIS analyses and field visits have been performed in order to understand natural predispositions and development interests reflected through spatial planning.
 

 

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES OF DRAVA RIVER CORRIDOR IN CROATIA

In last two months, SEE River project partners from Croatian pilot area have been analyzing pilot river corridor in Croatia, located in Koprivnica-Križevci County, and also organized 1st national stakeholders workshop.

Analyses of current land use plans and the actual situation on Croatian Drava River corridor pilot area based on the ortho-photo images have shown significant changes in geomorphological structure and river bed and in last 150 years. Consequently, coverage of protected natural areas and ecological network altered.
 

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HUNGARIAN DRAVA RIVER CORR. AS A PLATFORM FOR A DIALOGUE

The SEE River project gives opportunity to convert the present interests in Hungarian Drava River Corridor pilot area to the consensus on the river’s future, being open and accessible to anybody.

The aim of selecting two Drava River corridor pilot areas in Hungary was that people and organisations living and operating along the River Drava are broadly supported with regards to sustainable development principles.


 

 

COMMON VISION FOR NERETVA RIVER

On 7 June 2013, the first workshop with stakeholders along the Neretva River corridor in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held in Mostar to develop common vision for this unique river.

43 participants, representatives of public administrations of different levels (B&H state level, Federation of B&H and Republika Srpska, Neretva-Herzegovina Canton, municipality representatives were also invited), academia and research institutions, NGOs, experts in the fields of spatial planning, biology, nature protection, hydropower and other contributed to the workshop objectives.
 

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PRUT RIVER STARTED WITH
TOP-DOWN APPROACH

Based on all legal frameworks in relation with the Prut River, Romanian authorities together with Ukraine and Moldova are taking steps towards a clear and green Prut River.

The main characteristic of the Prut River is the biodiversity. The Natural Park “The Lower Prut Flood Plain" has been founded on a surface of 8.247 ha. The ecological importance of this park is recognized at the international level, almost the entirely territory of the park was declared as SCI area as integrated part of Natura 2000 sites. Four natural protected areas define the Prut River on Romanian territory.
 

 

SOČA RIVER, A COMMON SYMBOL FOR INHABITANTS

The strong connection between locals and Soča River offers the opportunity to join different stakeholders and their wishes in the whole territory from source to the river mouth.

Soča River, flowing from Julian Alps to Adriatic Sea, is a connecting link of two countries, landscapes, traditions and aspects of use. People have always been inspired by the river: observing it, admiring it, fearing it, painting it, writing poems and of course, using it.
 

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DRAFT VISION OF VJOSA RIVER LAUNCHED STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVEMENT

35 attendees actively participated at the first national stakeholder workshop titled "Common Vision on sustainable management of river corridor of Vjosa”.

Representatives of several institutions from public bodies to NGOs and from national to local level gathered within the SEE River project in the workshop in the beginning of July in Tirana, Albania. The aims of the workshop were to:

  • Discuss the SEE River project implementation in Albania, state of environment and socio-economic conditions, and
  • Discuss and revise the Draft Vision and objectives for the integrated management of Vjosa River as the SEE River project’s pilot river corridor.
     
 



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"WHAT MATTERS IS THE BENEFIT OF THE POPULATION AND HEALTHY WATER ENVIRONMENT"

Interview with Mr. Raimund Mair, ICPDR
 

 

Mr. Raimund Mair, technical expert for the river basin management at the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), a partner-observer in the SEE River project, answered few questions for the first issue of the SEE River newsletter to present ICPDR points of view and expectations of the SEE River project.
 

 

ICPDR is one of the largest and most active international bodies of river basin management expertise in Europe. It is constantly involved in numerous projects and activities, fulfilling the obligations from EU directives, and also supporting many initiatives to raise awareness to water related issues. 

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WERNER TSCHURTSCHENTHALER, 
Mayor of the municipality of San Candido/Innichen, South Tyrol, Italy

“Initiatives like the SEE River project with participation of the Department of Hydraulic Engineering of Autonomous Province of Bolzano, South Tyrol, allow continuing with the adopted course for an integrated flood protection process, considering aspects of landscape, tourism and ecology. The municipality of San Candido draws a great benefit from this situation.”
 

 

MARJAN BERLIČ, 
Umarh d.o.o, Ptuj, Slovenia, Company for project design and engineering

"I expect that the SEE River project will stimulate municipalities in Drava River corridor in Slovenia to recognize the need for agreed, common spatial solutions on regional scale. I also expect the SEE River project to become a basis for the implementation and realization of concrete projects. As an architect and urban planner, our team of experts could... "
 

 

DAMIJAN URANKER, Ministry for infrastructure and spatial planning, Slovenia, Secretary

"Various activities within the SEE River project are ambitious and focused to record as much characteristics, benefits, limitations and opportunities on Slovenian Drava River corridor pilot area as possible. We expect that project will involve many different stakeholders, especially those from local level. They should primarily..."
 

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May 30, 2013
RIVER RESTORATION: FIRST PREPARATIONS FOR AN EU LIFE PROJECT AT THE CROATIAN DRAVA

 

June 20, 2013
2ND STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE SEE RIVER PROJECT IN HARKÁNY, HUNGARY 

 

June 25, 2013
SEE PROJECTS CAPITALIZATION


Koprivnica, Croatia, and Irschen, Austria: Two Kick-Off meetings for the elaboration of an EU LIFE project at the Croatian Drava have been organized by WWF, the SEE River project partner, in spring 2013. The newly formed working group aims at developing a LIFE-nature river restoration proposal for submission in 2014. The SEE River pilot site from Legrad to Repas Bridge is part of it.
 

 


43 experts of the SEE River project groups from partner institutions gathered on 2nd Steering Committee Meeting in Harkány, Hungary, from 18th to 20th June, 2013. Besides working intensively on the work done so far and next steps, they visited the Hungarian Drava River corridor pilot area.

 


In the frame of the SEE Annual Conference in Bucharest, Romania, the SEE River project participated at special workshop that was dedicated to foster capitalization of results of SEE projects that have similar aims and fields of work.

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July 1, 2013
SEE RIVER PROJECT TO HOLD A SESSION AT EUROPEAN RIVER RESTORATION CONFERENCE 2013

SEE River project experts from Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold a 90-minutes session “Contemporary river corridor management: from local to transboundary level, from top down to bottom up” at the 5th European River Restoration Conference 2013.
 

 

July 4, 2013
INITIATIVE “MURA-DRAVA-DANUBE”
A FINALIST FOR THE
1ST IRF EUROPEAN RIVERPRIZE IN 2013

A five-country initiative for a Transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Mura-Drava-Danube” is amongst Europe´s four best submitted initiatives that were announced as finalists for the first IRF European Riverprize in 2013. 

 

 

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2013 EVENTS

July 2013:
-   Bilateral meeting for Prut River, Ukraina 

August 2013:
-   Evaluation of implemented measures of the last 20 years on the Drava River Corridor in Austria
-   Bilateral meeting for Prut River, Moldova 

September 2013:
-   Action groups meetings for Drava River Corridor in Slovenia
-   Stakeholders meetings on Hungarian Drava River Corridors

October, 2013:
-   First local stakeholder workshop in Austrian Drava River Corridor pilot area
-   Celebration of the Soča River Day
-   First stakeholders workshop in Croatia 

November 2013:
-   Second local stakeholders workshop in Slovenia

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Contact us

LEAD PARTNER

Inštitut za vode Republike Slovenije
Hajdrihova 28c, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
www.izvrs.si

MANAGING PARTNER

Posoški razvojni center
Trg svobode 2, 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
www.prc.si

 

This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the South East Europe Programme Managing Authority cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.