The REC was an active participant at the 12th "EUROPE-INBO" Conference, which took place in Bucharest on November 12-15, 2014. The conference, organised at the invitation of the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change -- Department of Waters, Forests and Fisheries; the National Agency "Romanian Waters"; and the National Institute for Hydrology and Water Management, brought together 134 participants, including representatives from national and basin authorities, NGOs, businesses, and international and regional organisations from 33 countries.
The INBO -- or, International Network of Basin Organizations -- supports integrated management of the world's water resources. EUROPE INBO is one of the INBO's eight regional networks.
The objective of the EUROPE INBO regional network is to implement water policies in Europe, especially the CIS (Common Implementation Strategy), using its practical experience to help candidate countries for EU accession. It aims at the same time to disseminate the principles and instruments of EU directives related to water management, especially towards the countries in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Mediterranean Region.
The following important water management-related themes were discussed at EUROPE-INBO 2014:
- Preparation of the second edition of the River Basin Management Plans (RBMP), according to the WFD Directive 2000/60/CE;
- natural water retention measures and river restoration strategies;
- implementation and financing of water measures; and
- water governance in transboundary basins.
REC representatives were especially active in the sessions dedicated to natural water retention measures (NWRM) and river restoration, the team having gained valuable experience while implementing the pilot project "Atmospheric Precipitation - Protection and efficient use of fresh water: Integration of natural water retention measures in river basin management", which was financed by the European Commission DG Environment. A total of 60 cases studies have been carried out through the implementation of NWRM projects, and results of the Danube Basin pilot project have now been presented to the public. Most of the identified projects were developed in line with the category of environmental protection, followed agriculture, forestry and urban planning.
Representatives from other European regions presented data about the way that NWRMs are implemented in their respective areas, showing that there are already many projects at European level that implement these measures. At a general level of implementation, further steps are needed: better legislative guidance, both at EU and national level; identification and allocation of financing sources that will implement these measures; greater administrative capacity and specialist knowledge of measures available under the NWRM concept; and better communication and dissemination of these measures and their respective benefits.
This year's conference established a basis for adopting the Bucharest Declaration, which addresses many of the event's most important themes.
More details about the event can be found here: http://www.inbo-news.org/inbo/agenda/article/europe-inbo-2014