Jun 23–24, 2014
The second Danube Region workshop focusing on natural water retention measures (NWRM) took place in Bucharest, Romania, on June 23 and 24, 2014. It provided a platform for discussion and for the exploration of synergies between practitioners and stakeholders from Danube River Basin countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), other regional networks (Baltic and Mediterranean), as well as representatives of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the independent water consultancy DHI Group, and international organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the International Association for Danube Research (IAD).
The workshop supported and promoted the regional NWRM network and provided an opportunity for knowledge sharing and joint thinking on identified benefits and obstacles, cooperation, and the coordination of activities. New case studies were identified and discussed, covering topics such as floodplain restoration, the management of torrents, wetland restoration and management, and pollution control. As most of the case studies identified in the Danube Region concern natural areas, the multiple benefits of NWRM were discussed, with a focus on the agricultural, forestry and urban sectors. A Romanian model for financing the application of NWRM in various management areas in the 2014–2020 programming period was also shared with participants.
During the thematic group sessions, the draft policy document prepared by the drafting team of the working group “Programmes of Measures” (WG PoM) was used to communicate the main policy questions related to the benefits, relevance and mechanisms to stimulate the implementation of NWRM. The closing session produced a fruitful discussion about project deliverables that can help practitioners in making decisions about NWRM and the kind of measures that are feasible for the Danube Region.