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Benefits of Transboundary Cooperation in Neman and Pregolya River Basins

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By Bernardas Paukstys, GWP Central and Eastern Europe

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Benefits of Transboundary Cooperation in Neman and Pregolya River Basins

  1. 1. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Benefits of Transboundary Cooperation in Neman and Pregolya River Basins Towards a water secure world Bernardas Paukštys, GWPCEE
  2. 2. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Basic information Two transboundary rivers: • the Neman and the Pregolya with their basins in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast bring their waters into the Baltic Sea and do not stop at the administrative or political borders.
  3. 3. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Therefore the only way to protect and manage transboundary rivers is a cross-border cooperation between 2 EU and 2 non-EU countries. EU EU
  4. 4. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Such cooperation is critical as the Neman and Pregolya rivers transport pollutants from agriculture, fisheries and industries to the Baltic Sea. Baltic Sea is one of the mostly polluted seas in the world.
  5. 5. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Total area of the Neman basin is 98,200 km2 of which 34,610 km2 are within Belarus the Lithuanian portion of this basin is 46,695 km2 The Pregolya basin has an area of 15,500 km² which is shared mainly by Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast. The average flow is 90 m³/s.
  6. 6. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Aims of the transboundary project GWP financially supported the project in 2014. The main goal of the project was to: • Compile GIS maps of the shared river basin systems between RF Kaliningrad Oblast, Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. • Strengthen professional links between water managers and GIS experts in neighboring countries. • To build an informal professional partnership which may facilitate official dialogue, cooperation and investments in the shared river basin systems.
  7. 7. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org The team of experts from GWP- Lithuania and Poland, Central Research Institute for Complex Use of Water Resources (Belarus) and Baltic Institute for Ecology of Hydrosphere (Kaliningrad) have compiled joint GIS maps on hydrology, human pressures, chemical status and — where possible — ecological status of water bodies GWP-Lithuania GWP-Poland Belarus Kaliningrad
  8. 8. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org The outputs of the project • GIS database consisting of 12 transboundary GIS layers and more than 100 attribute fields have been developed; • 30 GIS maps of surface and groundwater, human pressures and impacts, maps of climate change, chemical and ecological status of water bodies were created; • Interactive map and GIS database were developed; • Video film on transboundary cooperation produced in EN and RU languages and uploaded on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jFx3jhhLTQ).
  9. 9. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Few examples of GIS maps
  10. 10. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org
  11. 11. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Interactive map http://levis-gdb.sggw.pl/neman_pregolya/
  12. 12. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Benefits of cooperation (1) • GIS maps were shared among the water stakeholders in the project countries. • All maps were included into the 2nd round of the Nemunas and Pregolya river basin management plans prepared by Lithuania under the EU Water Framework Directive. NEMUNAS RIVER BASIN DISTRICT MANAGEMENT PLAN
  13. 13. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Benefits of cooperation (2) • data gaps and methodical differences in the countries were identified; • information and methodologies were harmonised; • point sources and diffused pollution in all countries were mapped in a harmonised way; • hydropower plants and fish passes were mapped; • This information will be useful for the joint river basin planning in future.
  14. 14. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Maps of human pressures
  15. 15. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Benefits of cooperation (3) • It was practical result-oriented transboundary water management project between the 2 EU and 2 non-EU countries. • It demonstrated the willingness for cooperation not only between the experts but also some institutions. • If continued, such cooperation may generate economic benefits, increased human well-being, environmental sustainability and political stability.
  16. 16. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Future Benefits Next logical cooperation step is joint river basin management planning. The planning process includes: • characterisation of the river basin districts; • assessment of pressures and impacts; • setting clear environmental objectives; • economic analysis; • establishment and implementation of appropriate measures for improvement water body status; • evaluation effectiveness of the measures and investment costs. Programme of measures helps to respond to the identified pressures, thus allowing the river basin and/or water body to reach good status.
  17. 17. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Good status means that all rivers and lakes are swimmable, groundwater is fresh and drinkable, and all water bodies are abundant in natural organisms.
  18. 18. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Future benefits – health and ecology: • Proper management of water resources through water supply and sanitation reduces health care costs and rids society of water-borne diseases. • Water supports several industrial activities that are dependent on reliable and secure water supplies. • Water management through investment in sustainable organic agriculture, recreational opportunities and biodiversity will contribute to the improvement of ecological situation in the river basins.
  19. 19. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Future Benefits – development of tourism Improved status of rivers, lakes and lagoons would increase the attractiveness of the region for tourism and recreation. Location of the Kaliningrad Oblast on the shores of the Baltic Sea will be attractive for both domestic and foreign tourists.
  20. 20. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Benefits to the Baltic Sea Region Joint management of transboundary waters around the Baltic Sea will provide regional benefits to the whole Baltic region with more than 160 million citizens.
  21. 21. Seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention, Budapest HungaryNovember 201517-19 www.gwpcee.org Thanks to: • GWP for financial support • Project participants for their GIS contribution and thank you for attention

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