EUROPEAN UNION STRATEGY FOR THE DANUBE REGION EUSDR. Pillar II Protecting the Environment in the Danube Region

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1 EUROPEAN UNION STRATEGY FOR THE DANUBE REGION EUSDR Pillar II Protecting the Environment in the Danube Region Priority Area 6: Preserving biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils dr. Florian Ballnus Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health Kornelija Pintaric Ministry of Culture Republic of Croatia Priority Area Coordinators The Danube Region The Danube Region: 14 Countries 100 Mio. Inhabitants Biodiversity is a precious natural heritage and a source of wellbeing and prosperity Almost species live on the banks of the Danube Home for pelicans, wolves, lynx and bears, in some of their last remaining territories in the EU Wetlands, meadows and forests are featured in the landscape along the Danube. These vulnerable areas are rich in biodiversity Strong need to restore and reconnect habitats and develop protected areas, e.g. Natura 2000 sites 1

2 The four Pillars of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region Pillar 1: Connecting the Danube Region PAC 1-3 Pillar 2: Protecting the Environment in the Danube Region PAC 4 Water Quality PAC 5 Environmental Risks PAC 6 Biodiversity Close cooperation concerning projects, actors, events, PR Cooperative approach concerning project labeling, finding appropriate funding programmes Coordination of funding Bring policy makers together across countries Need committed policy makers and capacity to develop projects Pillar 3: Building Prosperity in the Danube Region PAC 7-9 Each Priority Area is coordinated by two PAC, PACs facilitate the building of new networks and partners Overall cooperation to ensure synergies, long-term commitment and ownership Pillar 4: Strengthening the Danube Region PAC Priority areas have to be considered with other policy fields : Danube Summit of the Pillar Environment 26. May 2011, Niederalteich: Political Kick-off Meeting Signing of Joint Declaration by Responsible Countries / Ministries in the Pillar Environment: PA4: HU & SK PA5: HU & RO PA6: DE & HR High level political commitment, strong will for cooperation. From left to right: Dr. István Kling, Dept. State Secretary, Hungary Zoran Šikić, State Secretary, Croatia Dr. Markus Söder, State Minister, Bavaria Marin Anton, State Secretary, Romania František Zemanovič, Consul General, Slovak Republic 2

3 Organisation Chart of PA6 PAC 4 Water Quality PAC 5 Environmental Risks PAC 6 Biodiversity DG ENV DG REGIO PAC Bavaria Pillar Environment PA6 Steering Group: PA6 operative implementation Close cooperation concerning projects, actors, events, PR Cooperative approach concerning project labeling, finding appropriate funding programmes Meetings of PACs according to needs Members from all participating countries PAC Croatia Project Level Actor Actor Funding Programmes: Cohesion Fund Structural Funds IPA National funds IFIs Private Banks Donors Actor Actor EUSDR PA 6 Action Plan Preservation of biodiversity and landscapes To contribute to the 2050 EU vision and 2020 EU target for biodiversity To manage Natura 2000 sites and other protected areas effectively To protect and restore most valuable ecosystems and endangered animal species To explore together the appropriateness of reviewing the Convention Concerning Fishing in the Waters of the Danube To develop green infrastructure in order to connect different bio-geographic regions and habitats To reduce the spread of invasive alien species (IAS) To decrease the input of pesticides into the environment of the Danube Region To remove safely obsolete pesticides and other obsolete chemicals in the area of Danube Region To prepare and implement transnational spatial planning and development policies for functional geographical areas (river basins, mountain ranges etc.) 3

4 Action Plan for PA6 Preservation and improvement of the quality of soils To ensure appropriate treatment of solid waste To create standardised and compatible information on land cover on transnational basis To raise awareness about soil protection Improvement of air quality To decrease air pollutants Education of people on the value of natural assets, ecosystems and the services they provide To raise awareness of the general public, by acknowledging and promoting the potentials of natural assets as drivers of sustainable regional development To educate children and young people To build capacities of local authorities in the environment-related matters Project selection Criteria 1. makes a clear contribution to one or more Actions of the Priority Area as outlined in the Action Plan of the EUSDR [SEC (2010) 1489 final] (and/or contributes to the achievement of its targets), 2. has a transnational impact on the macro region or a significant part of it, which can derive from national, regional and local activities as well, 3. is realistic, technically feasible and equipped with credible funding, 4. demonstrates visible benefits and added value for implementation of the EUSDR, 5. provides concrete sustainable results for the Priority Area objectives, 6. is not in contradiction with other policy objectives, 7. and its activities are located for the most part in the geographical perimeter of the Danube Region, 8. is agreed by the Steering Group 4

5 Letter of Recommendation To whom it may concern, The Steering Group of the Priority Area 6 Preserving biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils, made up of representatives from the Danube Region countries (nominated by their governments), has pre-examined the project idea submitted by <XXX> with the title: <XXX> on its meeting held on DD/MM/YYYY (or) in the framework of the written procedure between DD/MM/YYYY and DD/MM/YYYY. The conclusion is: The project <XXX> contributes to the achievement of the targets and goals of the relevant actions in Priority Area 6 of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The Steering Group - representing the Danube countries - invites the funding sources to consider providing adequate financial support to the project. Venue of decision, DD/MM/YYYY On behalf of the Steering Group: Selection procedure Projects could be pre-examined by the Priority Area Coordinators and by the SteeringGroups according to agreed criteria. If the project is good, it would be given a 'letter of recommendation' with which the project leader can go to the different funding sources. -Projects which have a 'letter of recommendation' could be looked on specifically in the selection process in the period, the Structural Funds programmes of the Danube Region should indicate how they will contribute to the implementation of the Strategy (DG Regio, November 2011) 5

6 Action Plan for PA6 Example of EUSDR Projects - Danube parks Action Plan for PA6 EUSDR Projects: Mura-Drava-Danube UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE Participation of five governments (AU, SLO, HU, CRO, SRB) as well as NGOs WWF and supporting partner organizations, such as UNESCO, Ramsar and Wetlands International. In March 2011, under the Hungarian EU-Presidency, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia signed a Ministerial declaration to join their individual protected riverine area s under the umbrella of a Trans-boundary Biosphere Reserve. At the end of September 2011, the Croatian Ministry of Culture applied for the nomination of its respective riverine area at the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Secretariat in Paris, following the Hungarian application already in next step towards the establishment of the pentalateral Biosphere Reserve is the application of Austria, Serbia and Slovenia to UNESCO. 6

7 Milestones and Next Steps Steering Group Kick-Off Meetings June 2011 München, October 2011 Zagreb; Ongoing project tracking by Database and contributions from SG; Compiling list of relevant Actors in Danube Region; Defining Criteria and procedure for project labelling; Establishing Links to Funding Programmes: Coordination with PAC 4 & 5; Support in Project development; Networking with relevant organizations, NGOs and existing networks; Public Kick off Event and Workshop (planned for spring 2012). Report of PACs and SG to Commision June 2012 Milestones and Next Steps 1 7

8 Contacts Thank you for your attention! Dr. Florian Ballnus Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health Rosenkavalierplatz München Germany Phone: +49 (0) Kornelija Pintarić Director Nature Protection Directorate Ministry of Culture, Croatia Runjaninova 2, HR Zagreb Croatia Phone: +385 (1)

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