Public forums were held in September to gather information and further ideas for potential intervention sites involving all interested local citizens. Within the framework of the LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS project, public forums were held in the pilot catchment areas: in Püspökszilágy, from the Szilágyi and Gombás creek catchment area and in Dusnok from the Bátya catchment area. The Forum was held on Püspökszilágy on the 3rd of September 2022 and in Dusnok on the 6th of September 2022, both events had many active participants.
Sándor Tordai, mayor of Püspökszilágy, opened the event on Püspökszilágy and his speech was followed by 4 presentations:
- Flash flood mitigation options using near-natural methods, presentation of different natural run-off mitigation methods (Klára Kerpely, WWF Hungary Foundation)
- Presentation of the LIFE project “In cooperation for cliamte-conscious river basin management” (Dr. Petra Szatzker, Ministry of Interior, Municipal Coordination Office)
- The functioning of the Multi-stakeholder Catchment Forum (MCF), participation opportunities for local residents (András Varró, Hétfa Research Institute)
- Preliminary results of the runoff modelling of the catchment (Gergely Ámon, 4Stream Mérnöki Kft.)
After the one and a half hour presentation session, the audience had the oppurtunity to ask questions. 15 attendant was present, mostly from Püspökszilágy, but several resindents also showed up from Penc and Váchartyán. In addition to share knowledge, the public forum also included a discussion on current issues, i.e. proposed future intervention areas, necessary permissions and solutions. As mentioned, the forum also gave residents the opportunity to speak up and ask questions, which were answered by the Mayor and the experts who were present. One of the main goal of the public forum was to enable stakeholders to put forward intervention ideas or even to submit a specific proposal for action to the MCF. Following the forum, further consultation will take place and participants will share and spread the information about current and future activities in the municipality.
Having experienced this year’s extreme weather conditions, the need to organise a forum among the residents and farmers of Dusnok has arisen. The forum focused on sharing the experiences of the study trip to England in July with those who were interested, with the aim of incorporating the experiences and observations made in England into the Dusnok project. In the United Kingdom, the active involvement of local people in solving problems affecting their community was a positive aspect which could be integrated into the national practice.
At the forum, the participants were welcomed by István Mindszenti, Mayor of Dusnok, followed by a presentation by Mátyás Farkas, climate change expert at WWF Hungary, on natural water retention measures. Afterwards, Csaba Fekete, Mayor of Bátya, presented the LIFE MICACC project and its results, which was completed in 2021, and the LOGOS 4 WATERS project, which is currently being implemented. He also mentioned the importance of Dusnok’s involvement. At the end of the presentations, István Mindszenti invited the audience to share their opinion and experiences on the topic, and to use their local knowledge and ideas to explore together the areas that could be used for water conservation.
Despite the small number of participants, the public meeting can be perceived as success, as the 16 active participants asked for another opportunity to gather possible intervention sites, involving more local residents.
The experience of these events demonstrates the power of community involvement and how much more effective it is to work together for a common goal: climate-conscious river basin management.
The full presentation and the interviews following the forum are available on Dusnok TV (from 48:15): (48:15-től): https://dusnok.hu/assets/dusnokTV/2022_09_12.mp4
The video from Püspükszilágy can be viewed usint this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RU7bXzCnKw
Presentations mentioned in the article are available on the Documents page:
Documents – LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS (bm.hu)