IW Learn DEF
The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe



JUNE 2006

Mixing water with wine

From April 25-26, the ICPDR and DRP co-hosted the 'WFD and Agriculture' workshop in Malinska, Croatia. Its goals were to: identify tools that can support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in the Danube River Basin (DRB), especially rural development (RD) measures available under the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); create a better understanding and coordination between government water managers and agriculture managers in the DRB; and share experiences. One key result was agreement on the need to implement a set of regulatory, financial and information and communications measures. DRB farmers should be trained and supported in using 'Best Agricultural Practices (BAP)'. More international support is needed for information-sharing workshops and information compilation. Finally, a number of measures were suggested on how the ICPDR can best integrate agricultural issues into its river basin management planning. ( www.undp-drp.org/drp/en/themes_agriculture_reports-fertilisers-and-manure-use.html)

Banning phosphates in detergents

Also in Malinska, Croatia in late April, the draft final report on recommendations for how DRB national governments can enact voluntary agreements to reduce the use of phosphates (P) in detergents was presented to the ICPDR's Pressures and Measures Expert Group. Phosphates are a leading cause of nutrient pollution in the DRB and Black Sea. To date, Germany and Austria are virtually P-free and the Czech Republic has just introduced legislation to reduce P in detergents. Of the remaining DRB countries, only Slovenia, Hungary and Serbia and Montenegro use significant proportions of P-free. The Czech example, where a voluntary agreement was tried with partial success, demonstrates that voluntary agreements will be difficult to implement in CEE countries without legislative back-up, especially stronger EU legislation. The report will be discussed at a task force meeting in August/September, where the possibility and content of a workshop on the topic will also be considered.

The DRP provided a related feature story to the next issue of the ICPDR 'Danube Watch', linked to a story highlighting the success of a DRP-funded Sarajevo-based NGO in raising awareness about detergent phosphates among consumers.

Hydromorphological alterations and the WFD

A workshop on the 'EU WFD and Hydromorphological Alterations in the Danube River Basin', supported by the DRP, will be held by the ICPDR in Neusiedl am See, Austria, July10-11. The workshop aims to provide the ICPDR with a sound basis for continuing their related work, especially enabling the finalization of their related Issue Paper. It will help define the main future tasks and solutions towards the Programme of Measures addressing hydro-morphological alterations as part of the DRB Management Plan. It will also help identify related issues of basin-wide importance and initiate stakeholder discussion. Participants will include representatives from the Danube countries, stakeholders (hydropower, navigation, flood defence), NGOs and representatives from the scientific community. (Contact ICPDR: icpdr@unvienna.org or birgit.vogel@unvienna.org).

Help for municipal wastewater financing

A new 'Products and Activities' Information Sheet was developed for the DRP sub-project on 'Water and Wastewater Utility Investments and Pricing'. It presents all of the expected products and activities to be developed by the project, as well as targeted beneficiaries (/drp/themes_municipal-ws-ww.html). DRP consultants trained staff from one of the project's test sites (Karlovac, Croatia) in how to use 'ASTEC', a powerful financial decision-making tool for utility managers. Also, this theme became the cover story for the next issue of the ICPDR 'Danube Watch' magazine. (For more information: kis.andras@makk.zpok.hu)

Getting farmers to reduce water pollution

The DRP project geared to reducing water pollution from agriculture identified two main goals for DRB national authorities: (1) develop effective and affordable national advisory services that are able to work in close dialogue with farmers, and (2) schemes that support storage capacity on farms for at least six months production of livestock manure and manure handling equipment.

Detailed design and price calculations were made for adding new manure storage facilities to the project's eight pilot project farms. National partners created action plans for training farmers in seven lower Danube countries - to demonstrate the success and benefits of the pilot project and enable the replication of key aspects of the pilots across the region. Workshops for farmers and advisory agencies were held on issues such as good agricultural practices, the design and construction of manure stores, nutrient balance calculations and field and fertilizer planning. Media successes included a serial about the project on National Radio and Television of Serbia and published articles in several agriculture magazines.

Wetlands news

A new DRP-funded campaign will be launched by the NGO 'Daphne' in Slovakia to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands in river basin management (RBM). Target audiences will be regional and local decision-makers and water managers in Slovakia. The campaign will also try to identify barriers faced in better incorporating wetland issues into RBM and solutions. The new campaign is linked to a DRP project encouraging national water managers throughout the DRB to better use wetlands in reducing water pollution, and to include such actions in their national plans for meeting the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). It also links to the "International Wetlands Campaign" of the Danube Environmental Forum (DEF) which includes Daphne as a member.

The goal of the 'DRP Update' is to keep you aware of what's happening with the UNDP-GEF Danube Regional Project (DRP), including its achievements, events and plans. We encourage you to find out more about the information briefs listed above by contacting us. Many of the briefs are also linked to the "News", "Themes" and other sections of our website (www.undp-drp.org). The "Update" is a key tool for enhancing stakeholder awareness and use of DRP products, activities, tools and lessons learned.

For more info contact:

Paul Csagoly, Communications Expert / UNDP-GEF Danube Regional Project
(tel) +43 1 26060 4722 / (mob) +43 664 561 2192
paul.csagoly@unvienna.org / www.undp-drp.org