Environment

Saving our treasure: sustainable trout fisheries for the transborderOulanka river system

The project aims to produce well-being for people living in the Koillismaa and Karelia regions in Finland and Russia by ensuring sustainable use and healthy status of the migratory brown trout (Salmotrutta) populations in the Oulanka River system. The goal will be achieved by developing, through collaboration of Finnish and Russian stakeholders, a model for the joint management of the trout populations. The project’s main activities will strengthen the scientific knowledge, stakeholder co-operation and public awareness regarding the Oulanka River trout, all of which are critical components of successful long-term fishery management. The activities include: Mapping the present size and movements of the migrating trout population; Examining the socio-economic importance of the trout fisheries in the region; Establishing a transborder, joint integrated management group for the fisheries; Raising public awareness of the unique identity, life cycle and value of the Oulanka River trout. The benefits of the activities will be distributed equally across the border. The joint management model developed in the project will be useful for other transborder waters where sustainable management of shared natural resources is needed.

Contact: MsRaisaNikula, raisa.nikula@metsa.fi

Promoting nature education as efficient mean of awareness reising (people with nature)

The main objective of the project is to unite ideas, capacity and tools for improvement of nature education situation and so awareness of the society on sustainable development and integrated nature conservation in the project region of territories of Estonia, Latvia and Russia. During the project it is foreseen to create cooperation network between public and non-governmental organisations in Estonia, Latvia and Russia, promote exchange of experience between partners and target groups, raise capacity of 14 nature education centres, elaborate advanced environmental education methods, train target groups to secure spreading out ideas of sustainable development of a long term basis, inform general public about importance of integrated nature conservation that takes into account needs of people but at the same time secures conservation of nature values and functions necessary for secure and sustainable existence of society. The idea of cooperation project has been developing over several years through contacts and cooperation among part of partners. Some of the project partners from Latvia and Estonia have been working in cross-border projects already for several years and have come to conclusion that cross-border cooperation provides very effective problem solutions for regions and activate considerable growth of involved partner organisations. Besides it promotes various contacts among target groups, promote attractiveness of regions, attract investments, provide working places and influence positively self-confidence of society. During these projects they also got to know partners from Russia that resulted in an idea to develop a new common project in order to promote sustainable development in all three countries. All partners are significant stakeholders in their regions concerning nature education, conservation and promotion of sustainable development. During the project it is planned to implement various activities adjusted to various target groups that would not just provide knowledge about nature, its values and functions, but also to add personal emotional attitude and in this way promote more nature friendly behaviour in daily life. The planned activities are diverse, aimed to reach as wide part of society as possible, like development of nature education centres, create new interactive exhibitions, innovative education materials, training and seminars for young people, teachers, representatives of municipalities, journalists, etc. Activities will be carried out in all three partner countries, mainly in border regions, both in rural and city environment. Activities will be accessible to wide part of society without any exceptions. The results of the project will be more aware society of several Estonia, Latvia and Russia regions that would result in cleaner environment, saved nature values, more healthy and active people.

Project homepage: www.daba.gov.lv/public/lat/projekti/est_lat_rus/

Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Lake Peipsi Area

Lake Peipsi is the largest trans-boundary lake in Europe, which is shared between Estonia and Russia. This area has a rich historical and cultural heritage, attractive nature and thus has a very good potential to become a popular touristic destination. In order to contribute jointly to the increasing the attractiveness of the Lake Peipsi region, the project “Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Lake Peipsi Area” was initiated. On the Estonian side the interest towards water-related tourism and the number of watercrafts in the Lake Peipsi area is increasing, but the development of water-related tourism is constrained by the lack of sufficient harbours and moorings. Existing harbours do not meet the environmental requirements and the needs of watercraft users. On the Russian side, the priority is to improve the environmental situation in the places traditionally used for recreation. One of the problems restraining tourism and economic development is the poor surface water quality in places of wastewater discharge in Lake Peipsi basin due to insufficient process of wastewater treatment. In addition, the State Committee for nature management and protection of the environment of the Pskov region is carrying out an inspection on the current condition of wastewater treatment facilities in 16 areas of the Lake Peipsi basin. Recommendations for the special regional ecological Programme Pure water of the Pskov region 2012-2017, concerning improvement of the wastewater treatment system for Lake Peipsi basin, are also under elaboration. Project Results include: The construction of a dock in Kallaste and small harbours inTartu, Mustvee and Räpina establish preconditions for the development of water related tourism and for the increase in water related traffic. As an additional result, there are a number of work places created in the project territory; and construction/reconstruction of waste water treatment plants around Lake Peipsi, on the Russian side, and construction of a sewage network in Pechory town (Pechorskya rea), result in a decrease of the total amount of harmful substances discharged in the rivers Gdovka, Pachkovka, Velikaya and Mnoga.With a long-term perspective, the project contributes to the improvement of the environmental situation and encourages entrepreneurship and development of tourism related businesses.

Website: https://www.siseministeerium.ee/eesti-lati-vene-programmi-peipsi-projekt/

Improvement of quantitative and qualitative soil protection through awareness-raising

Since 2003, the state of Lower Austria has been part of the European Land and Soil Alliance and has been implementing a number of projects in various municipalities as well as establishing the exemplary soil awareness raising campaign, the Boden-Kampagne. In West Hungary, soil is also an important issue, in particular with regard to its function as a ground water filter. Retention and filtration of nutrients and contaminants is central to the production of safe foodstuffs and to the protection of clean drinking water and waterways. This project’s aim is to achieve quantitative and qualitative ground protection through awareness raising. Demonstrationswillbecarriedoutthroughouttheregionanddocumented. Furthermore, specially-educatedsoilambassadorswillbetrainedand a coordinationofficefortheEuropeanLandandSoilAlliancewillbeestablished.

Recycling of biogenic resources in the region West-Hungary, Vienna and Burgenland

Composting is an excellent way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions by returning nutrients and carbon from organic waste to the natural nutrient and carbon cycle. The project area is a diverse, natural region, making it an obvious place to engage in cross-border cooperation in developing recycling concepts, which will improve compost quality, allow people to better assess when compost is ready for use and for which plants it is most suitable and to identify new areas of use, helping us to achieve our environmental and climate protection goals.

Advanced Quality of life Through Investment activities for improvement of the Cross-border management of floods

The Maritza River is the biggest river on the Balkan Peninsula with a catchment area more than 53 000 km2. The Maritza basin has been quite densely populated and highly industrialized and it also has intensive agriculture. The Maritza River regions have been suffering from floods in the Turkish, Bulgarian and Greece territories. Svilengrad and Uzunkopru municipalities are close to the border and therefore, under the flood risk. The project has concrete actions to help reduce the probability of this hazard occurring. Thus, the implementation of this project is having a strong cross-border impact, through activities such as the cleaning of a section of the Maritza river bed, organizing green tourism workshops, building a cross-border environmental protection and conversation network. The cross-border area is also rich and common in bio-diversity. Projectconsolidatesoftheco-operationbetweenthedifferentfactorsforjointpreventionoffloodsandjointpreservationoftheeco-systems, biotopes, floraandfauna, thuscontributingtotheimprovementinqualityoflife, publicawarenessandsustainabledevelopmentofthecross-borderregions.

Website: www.svilengrad.bg

InterregWipptal council (management and small projects fund) –small project: Around the Tribulaun mountains

Theproject’sgeneralgoalistodevelop a balancedandsustainableareaintheWipptalregionandimprovingitscompetitiveness.WithinSmallprojectprogrammecalled «AroundtheTribulaunmountains» thefollowingissueswerecovered:thematizationoftheareaTribulauneas a cross-borderalpineandhikingarea; constructionof a mountainclimbingtrail (part I) andperformingcomprehensiverehabilitationsoftrailsandsafetymeasures; planningthemarketingandvalorisationoftheareaAroundtheTribulaunmountainstogetherwithtourismandrefugemanagers. Withsupportof the Interact Wipptal council cross-border cooperation in the Wipptal area was established.

Website: www.wipptalnetz.at

Common Fire and Rescue Service Response System on the Border

Lack of equipment and cooperation has been one of the main barriers for quicker response to fire and rescue calls from inhabitants living in the border area of Latvia and Lithuania. The project has provided great opportunity for project partners – the fire fighting and rescue institutions - to share the experience in fire fighting and rescue fields, as well as to jointly solve the problems which have emerged due to old equipment and technique and lack of coordinated events in Latvia-Lithuania border region. The Joint Action Plan for operative responding to extreme situations and incidents in the border region, which is developed during this project, now allows those who perform fire fighting and rescue events, to do so in a more organized and planned way. Those firemen who are equipped with modern technique and training on how to coordinate joint actions, are ready to execute their work faster and in more secured conditions. Project results include: Improved safety for residents and tourists travelling in Panevezys County (Lithuania) and Bauska District (Latvia), better protection of business property in the region, has been ensured. Following the project, pollution of the environment, with harmful combustion products and other toxic substances, will be lowered and the response time to incidents and extreme situations is reduced.

Website: www.vpgt.lt/panevezys.pgt/Titulinis.html

Secure Management of the Cross-Border Mountain Territories

The project RiskNat stems from the need of western Alpine territories to face natural risks in a more integrated way. Sharing information, experiences, best practices and know-how can guarantee the enhancement of risk prevention procedures in a delicate environment, such as the western Alpine one. The overall goal of project RiskNat is to share and enhance information, experiences, best practices and know-how regarding natural risk prevention in the western Alps area, in order to raise awareness on the topic and to strengthen cross-border cooperation. This objective is served by means of creating a web-based interregional platform and developing innovative methodologies and tools for land management. RiskNat has foreseen the execution of activities and actions aimed at strengthening the technical public procedures against natural risks, in the view of establishing a sustainable model of land management and development. RiskNat is structured in three parallel sections: 1. Creation of a web-based interregional informative platform for the exchange of experiences and best practices, and for the enhanced use of the information available on natural risk prevention; 2. Development of innovative actions, methodologies and tools for sustainable land management; 3. Pilot actions.

Website: http://www.risknat-alcotra.org/

Education at the cross-border territory

The ALCOTRA territory is characterized by a necessity for accurate environmental protection. As a matter of fact, the delicate alpine environment needs constant attention and the development of appropriate patterns of local sustainable development. In order to protect this unique cross-border territory, it is fundamental to raise awareness among the local population, promote environmental knowledge, a sense of belonging and active participation in land management, environmental protection and sustainable development. ETTRA has tackled the above mentioned issues by providing local environmental operators, local students and, more broadly, the entire population of interested areas, with training courses focused on a cross-border approach with the view of enhancing and consolidating the exchange of best practices and know-how. A very important target has been represented by the local students, whose environmental education has been guaranteed by an innovative cross-border methodology aimed to increase mutual knowledge between the students on both sides of the frontier. Teaching has been provided through an on-site approach, based on the practical contact with nature and the environment: a fun and effective way to help new generations become aware of the importance of preserving the living environment of the two natural parks.

Concepts for using reed biomass as local bioenergy and building material

The COFREEN project aims to improve the possibilities for using reed cost-effectively, economically and also taking into account the immaterial values. Reed is popular in Latvia, Finland and Estonia. Reed can be used for roofs and the leftover for making reed mats. Reed grows abundantly and uncut reed dirties the waters when it falls. As it grows, reed takes up phosphorus and nitrates from the seabed, cleaning the water and land. Removing the reed provides building material, and people living nearby get a cleaner coast.The result of the project will be to create and try out various approaches which can improve the profitability of harvesting and the use of harvested material in the best possible way (biogas, combustion, construction), create networks to support entrepreneurship and increase awareness of the possibilities offered by reed.

Project website: www.cofreen.eu

Eagles Cross Borders

Birds are the best ambassadors of cross-border approach: they do not recognize the political borders and criss-cross them for foraging, searching for partners and sometimes for settling down far away from their hatching site. This also applies to two charismatic eagle species – White–tailed eagle and Osprey, who breed in both Latvia and Estonia. Common cross-border populations of eagles need a common approach in monitoring and protection activities. This is the focus of the project. The overall project objective is to use White-tailed Eagle and Osprey as a flagship species in elaboration and approbation of common methods in the field of education of main groups of stakeholders from forestry, fish farming and environmental protection sectors. Successful protection of the eagles starts with a well-educated foresters – throughout our project, the project addresses these people by the small educational seminars; improve the skills of forestry personnel in the identifying of nests of protected forest-dwelling birds of prey with both species of eagles among them. The general public is addressed as well - the eagle “family life” is brought closer to everyone interested by the use of several webcams, installed at the nests of both eagle species. Besides the educational aspects, the project is also focused on monitoring both eagle species in the Programme area - ornithologists in both Estonia and Latvia are visiting the nests to assess breeding results and later provide the necessary protection arrangements to the newly found breeding grounds.

Project website: www.ldf.lv

Sustainable development for Banat Region by means of education and scientific research & development in transboundary air quality monitoring issues

Sustainable development for the Banat Region by means of education and scientific research & development in trans boundary air quality monitoring issues.Romania, as a member state of the EU, and the Republic of Serbia, as a candidate state, must fulfill specific criteria regarding the environmental protection and air quality standards in order to ensure a sustainable development of living standards. The general objectives of the project focus on strengthening the cross-border cooperation between two of the most important Universities from the Romanian–Serbian cross-border area for the benefit of the quality of life, in order to identify common environmental air quality related problems and to improve the quality of air in the area. The implemented project allows the project partners to increase the importance of R&D and innovation in the field of environmental protection by involving PhD researchers and young scientists and also disseminates the results and know-how to the interested public. Politehnica University of Timisoara and University of Novi Sad joined their knowledge into a cross-border project that provided the necessary equipment for monitoring the air quality in the Banat Region.

Project website: http://banatair.mec.upt.ro

karavanke@future.eu – Nature Based Economies in the European Future Region Karavanke

With a length of 120 kilometers, the Karawanks are one of the longest mountain ridges in Europe. It is an extensive area of common cultural, economic, and recreational and habitat links between Slovenia and Austria. Economic and demographic indicators show that it is a peripheral area with rich natural potential and high biodiversity, which offers numerous opportunities for development and therefore, a change from the negative economic trends. It is therefore very important for the development to be nature-friendly, and this was the objective of the project karawanks@future.eu. The project partners gave much attention to solving conflicts between advocates of nature conservation and economic development. With respect to preparing policies for sustainable development, they focused on current topics such as tourism development, grassland conservation, forest management and traffic calming.Within the field of tourism, major emphasis was given to promoting hiking, mountain biking and climbing and other nature-friendly activities. In order to preserve biodiversity, the possibilities for preserving mountain meadows and pastures were explored. Cross-border cooperation has helped to improve the management of forests and to increase their value. With the recommendations made and concrete measures taken, such as arranging parking possibilities, setting up roadblocks and information tables, the traffic congestion in the environment of the region could be prevented.

Project website: http://www.karavanke.eu/en

Cross-border model for nature conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources along the Danube

The stunning landscape of the Lower Danube supports unique biodiversity while a large human population depends on its natural resources. Because of their rich biodiversity, several areas are protected, such as Ramsar or Natura 2000 sites. There are 12 transboundary important bird areas along the Bulgaria-Romania border section of Danube. The natural resources and biodiversity of the area provide opportunities for future regional growth. Wise use and protection are preconditions for sustainable regional development. The biggest challenges to environmental sustainability within the target area are inappropriate floodplain forest and wetland management, agriculture intensification, and poor biodiversity preservation. A new threat is poor planning of renewable energy development, mostly wind farms, which could pose serious threats to birds, and hydropower stations on Danube and its tributaries, which affect floodplain functions. Although renewable energy is a noble goal, poorly located developments pose serious threats to the ecosystem and its biodiversity. The project will play an important role in promoting entrepreneurship and boosting growth in the regional economy over the next decade. The main development challenge will be to harmonize economic development with preservation of the region’s natural heritage. The project tackles the problem by building an online GIS database of the region’s natural assets and creates a map of the environmentally sensitive areas. The target area of the project is comprised of five Bulgarian districts and four Romanian counties (see the map). Its natural values are less studied and its natural resources are subject to fewer conservation efforts as compared to other areas, such as the Danube Delta.

Projectwebsite: http://danubebiodiversity.info/