In cooperation for climate-conscious river basin management
The four-year long LIFE20 CCA/HU/001604 project entitled “Integrated application of innovative water management methods at river basin by coordination of local governments” started on the 1st of October 2021, with the cooperation of 8 partners. The opening conference of the project took place on 25th of March 2022 in the Marble Hall of the Ministry of Interior, with the participation of the associated beneficiary partners and the contributing partner organisations.
As Miklós Dukai dr., Deputy State Secretary for Local Government, said in his welcoming speech, the severity of the problem of record level floods and droughts threatening our country is increasingly felt and its effects are experienced first-hand. On the 22nd of March this year, the Minister of the Interior declared a period of prolonged water scarcity for the entire country on World Water Day. This is a serious message for all of us. The key word is adaptation, preparation. With this LIFE project, the partnership aims to contribute to ensuring that adaptation to climate change – both on municipal and catchment level – is given sufficient weight in practice and get integrated into an increasing number of domestic projects and initiatives. Building on the experience and results of the LIFE-MICACC project, which ended in 2021, the LOGOS 4 WATERS project offers innovative and complex solutions, based on the cooperation and coordination of several neighbouring municipalities.
The detailed technical content, main objectives and commitments of the LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS project were presented by Petra Szatzker dr., the project manager. In her presentation, she highlighted, among other things, the benefits that natural water retention measures can bring to municipalities by creating a number of cost-effective solutions that build on each other, creating a greener environment, supporting biodiversity, improving the microclimate, providing a protective function and contributing to a more attractive urban landscape. Of particular interest in the project are the Integrated Support Board, involving 17 professional organisations, and the 1-1 Multi-stakeholder Catchment Forum, based on participatory decision-making, which will be set up in the two sample watersheds.
On behalf of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Ms Noémi Dálnoky, Head of Unit, shared her thoughts on nature-based solutions in the light of EU and national policy objectives and support policies. As she said in her presentation, climate change is visible and tangible, biodiversity is declining, all as a result of human activity. She drew attention to the need to take a look at our options (whether as mayor or as a private citizen) and consider the balance between traditional “grey” investments and “blue-green” infrastructure solutions that place greater emphasis on human-environmental harmony. She suggested that, where possible, the latter solution should be used. In her presentation she also pointed out that there are funding opportunities in both the KEHOP Plus and TOP Plus programmes. In the latter programme, around HUF 250.5 billion is available for local authorities to implement similar “blue-green” developments under the “Liveable Settlements” call. She also gave concrete examples of how to create value from these resources, and recommended the LIFE-MICACC project’s Adaptation Guide, which provides further ideas.
The event ended with a short presentation from the project partner organisations (Bátya Municipality, Püspökszilágy Municipality, Association of Climate Friendly Municipalities, Hungarian Chamber of Engineers, National University of Public Service, General Directorate of Water Management, WWF Hungary Foundation), explaining why each organisation considers the LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS project important.
The project will be implemented with the contribution of the LIFE Programme of the European Union and co-financing of the Hungarian State between the 1st of October 2021 and 30th of September 2025 with a budget of 3 764 915 EUR (app. 1,3 billion HUF).
Detailed information about the project can be found on the official project website (available from 1st of May 2022): https://lifelogos4waters.bm.hu