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  • 21.09.01: UK : Half of people living in flood risk areas do not know
  • 20.09.01: Vietnam floods claim 122, including 108 children
  • 18.09.01: Creation of Latin America's largest freshwater protected area (WWF)
  • 14.09.01: Court strikes down threatened salmon listing
  • 14.09.01: Eighty-nine percent of the Black Sea contaminated
  • 13.09.01: International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) thinks that "The WCD recommendations are not universally applicable" and could lead to "potentially disastrous" results "for developing countries".
  • 13.09.01: ICOLD Meeting: Large Dams and the WCD - an NGO Perspective
  • 12.09.01: Hungary designates two new RAMSAR sites on the Slovak border
  • 12.09.01: Trilateral Ramsar platform Morava-Dyje floodplains
  • 12.09.01: Long-awaited report. RAMSAR mission report on Ebro delta now available
  • 12.09.01: No one's bathing in it yet, but the Seine River flowing through Paris is less polluted and is attracting dozens of fish species, officials say.
  • 12.09.01: International River Drava Day September 28, 2001

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21.09.01: UK : Half of people living in flood risk areas do not know

The Environment Agency has begun a big publicity drive following research revealing that nearly 50% of people living in flood prone areas are oblivious to the risk and only one person in ten takes any action to prepare.
Hundreds of thousands of families across England and Wales are being urged to wake-up to the dangers of flooding this autumn and winter as high tides this week represented the first risk for many coastal areas. As a result of a study by the Environment Agency showing that nearly 50% of people living in flood prone areas were oblivious to the fact and only 10% takes any action to prepare, the Agency is taking awareness-building action. It embarked on a national television advertising campaign from 17 September drawing on the memory of floods in 1998, 1999 and 2000, asking people if they "really need another warning". The campaign urges people to call the Environment Agency's 24 hour Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for advice on how to prepare and make homes more resistant to flood damage. Floodline also gives details of flood warnings in force and free information on local warning services, clean-up and repairs.
Full article:

20.09.01: Vietnam floods claim 122, including 108 children

The death toll from floods in Vietnam's Mekong Delta in the past month has risen to 122 people, 108 of them children, and waters are forecast to rise further in coming days, a disaster report said Wednesday.

Full article:

18.09.01: Creation of Latin America's largest freshwater protected area (WWF)

GLAND, SWITZERLAND - WWF today welcomed both the largest freshwater protected area and the first freshwater Gift to the Earth in Latin America, with the designation by the Bolivian government of three wetlands totalling 46,000 square kilometres - an area larger than Switzerland - as sites of the RAMSAR Convention.
Located in the Department of Santa Cruz, in the lowlands of Bolivia, the wetlands of Bañados del Izogog-Rio Parapeti, El Palmar de las Islas-Salinas de San José, and Bolivian Pantanal are home to healthy populations of hundreds of species of flora and fauna, which are threatened in other parts of the country and in the rest of the world. These include, among others, the jaguar, the tapir, the giant river otter and the hyacinth macaw.
The newly protected sites are also very important freshwater reserves for the surrounding human populations.
"The inclusion of these sites on the RAMSAR list of wetlands of international importance is a huge achievement for both conservation and local communities," said Dr Claude Martin, Director General of WWF International. "The impressive expanse of land and water that becomes protected thanks to this move, represents close to 10 per cent of the global conservation goal of WWF's Living Waters Programme."
The Bolivian government's decision has been recognized as a Gift to the Earth - a first for freshwater in Latin America - by WWF.
On a global scale, Bolivia becomes the second country to designate such a vast area of wetlands in the Convention's 30 years of existence.
The designation of RAMSAR sites implies that governments commit at both local and national level to better conservation of the wetlands and wiser use of the natural resources.
It means that development projects such as waterways, highways, drainage and irrigation canals or oil and gas pipelines need to be carefully planned and their environmental impact thoroughly assessed.
This is particularly important for the Bolivian Pantanal, confronted with various large-scale development projects, including the Paraguay-Parana waterway, the construction of which would necessitate land clearance and dredging rivers in the region.
"Local actors, such as municipal authorities, indigenous communities, farmers and private landowners have welcomed the designation of the sites," pointed out Roger Landivar, WWF Country Representative in Bolivia. "They showed not only interest but also hope and commitment to participate in the conservation of these ecosystems while at the same time accessing natural resources in a sustainable way."
The Bolivian Pantanal is a mosaic of lakes, lagoons, rivers, flooded savannas, palms, dry forests and cerrado. It regulates floods and droughts in a vast area of Eastern Bolivia and sustains at least 197 species of fish, more than 70 species of amphibians and reptiles, more than 300 species of birds and more than 50 species of large mammals.
The Palmar de las Islas and Salinas de San José system of wetlands is the only source of water in a vast area in the Chaco ecoregion. Its surrounding landscape has been traditionally and almost exclusively used by the Ayoreo indigenous people.
Also located in the Chaco, the Bañados del Izogog and Rio Parapeti wetlands are linked to the Amazon basin, forming a biological and genetic corridor. They are a vital source of water for the Izoceña indigenous group.

For more information:
Olivier van Bogaert, Press Officer, WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature +41 22 364 9554 Web site:

See also

14.09.01: Eighty-nine percent of the Black Sea contaminated

A study of the Black Sea has revealed that 89% of its waters are contaminated, and the main source of the pollution has been revealed as the River Danube.
The Black Sea city of Odessa is Ukraine's premier resort city
Despite the perception that oil spills are the main threat to the sea, shared between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia, a recent study listed the Danube River as a major polluter of the Black Sea, being responsible for more than half the pollutants that endanger the sea’s ecology. According to the Association of the Environment in the Balkans, responsible for the report, the environment surrounding the Black Sea is worsening, with 89% of the sea’s water contaminated.
The Greece-based organisation said that water up to a depth of 150 metres show signs of eutrophication, reducing oxygen content in the sea water to a minimum, causing serious depletion of aquatic resources. Besides pollution from the Danube River and others that empty into the Sea, oil spills from ocean-going vessels constitute another major environmental hazard.
The Black Sea has an estimated annual passage volume of 50,000 ships, and in the last year oil spills caused by accidents and navigation in defiance of regulations reached 110,000 tonnes.
According to the report, the worsening ecology in the Black Sea has reduced the number of fish species to 3,775, less than half that found in the adjacent Mediterranean. At present, seals and two species of dolphins are on the verge of extinction from the Sea.
All the countries bordering the Black Sea recently established a joint naval force to protect the environment and humanitarian operations, at a time when oil tanker traffic is increasing dramatically.
Source: Xinhua News Agency

14.09.01: Court strikes down threatened salmon listing

Washington, September 14, 2001 (ENS) - A federal judge has ruled that hatchery born salmon are biologically indistinguishable from naturally spawned wild salmon. The judge also reversed an action by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listing the Oregon Coast coho salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
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13.09.01: International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) thinks that "The WCD recommendations are not universally applicable" and could lead to "potentially disastrous" results "for developing countries".

This is how ICOLD President CVJ Varma expressed the official position of his organization in Dresden, during the September 13th Symposium "Benefits and Concern About Dams".
Since it was founded in 1928, ICOLD leads the profession in ensuring that dams are built safely, efficiently, economically, and without detrimental effects on the environment. It is therefore eminently qualified to collectively judge the content of WCD report, better than many of the so-called individual experts, who have not had an opportunity to deal with even one percent of world dams but have opined on dams and development.
ICOLD shares the philosophy of the WCD recommendations, which fit very well with its own 1997 Position Paper on Dams and Environment.
But ICOLD disagrees with the process, analysis and conclusions extracted from the very limited WCD data base (only eight dams reviewed in depth, most of them more than 30 years old). There is little in the report about the development effectiveness of dams in regulating the world's rivers for human use. In areas of the world like China and South Asia, where approximately three billion people live and where river flow in intermittent, flows are virtually unusable without development of storage. The fast growing populations in such areas cannot possibly be supported in future, without large-scale surface storage. One would have therefore expected the WCD to have made a global evaluation of the availability of water in the world's different regions without storage and the minimum amount of water needed to support the particular region's ultimate population.
The WCD also failed to make an objective and scientific assessment of available alternatives (if any) to large dams for meeting with needs of water for irrigation, flood control and for hydropower generation. Over-optimistic views about the future of new technologies and their economics, never tested on a large-scale, have been advanced by WCD, without serious evaluation.
The report recognizes that about "30 percent of irrigated land worldwide now relies on dams", which means that about 800 million people benefit from food produced by dam related irrigation. A similar figure is true for electricity ("19 percent of the world's electricity"), which would mean about 800 million people worldwide. The benefits of avoided air pollution from the thermal energy, benefits of flood protection, water supply, including a better quality of life, further extend to several hundred million people around the world. But, the WCD presents a grossly exaggerated figure of 40 to 80 million people displaced by dams during the past century. Even if one assumes the figures as correct, it means for each person negatively impacted by dams, about 100 other people benefit from the food, electricity, water and flood control provided by dams. In effect the WCD report focuses on the one percent of the people who have not benefited from dams and ignores the benefits to the majority. It never estimates the colossal human cost avoided by building the dams, as human and environmental cost of not building dams has been founded to be very high, when compared with that due to building them.
ICOLD thus feels that the guiding principles set by WCD for itself (such as independent, open, transparent, knowledge-driven, inclusive of diversity of views, accessible to all stakeholders informed on issues and alternatives) were given a go-bye during the WCD process.
There is little doubt that the world is water short and the shortage will grow, if dams are not allowed to be built. The need for structural solutions including more dams, is undeniable because there are no alternatives or practical available options. ICOLD favours a balanced approach to dams and project development giving a stronger voice to affected people and communities. ICOLD feels that procedures for development are specific to each country. Each country would certainly review the WCD recommendations in the context of their own standards and ICOLD guidelines. However, each country will no doubt consider them in light of their prevailing conditions, traditions, laws, needs, ethos and aspirations.
The fundamental right of a nation to develop its water resources should not be denied by some whose motives are not clearly understood and accepted by the society, especially when the views create impediments in financing of such facilities. The procedures suggested by WCD for project evaluation are too cumbersome and would serve as a huge deterrent to investment. They would de facto give to some a right to veto what they consider contrary to their wishes, but would be detrimental to the development of entire countries/societies.
ICOLD has decided to advance further critical work and has created an "ad hoc" Committee to that effect, headed by Prof. Raymond Lafitte, which will take into account the WCD Report and the responses to it from ICOLD National Committees. The next version of its Position Paper on Dams and Environment will include the results of that work.
But ICOLD is not able to understand the need for creation or to participate in a so-called Dams Development Unit (DDU).
Note for reporters :
At the end of 2000, ICOLD had National Committees from 80 countries with approximately 7000 individual members who are practicing engineers, geologists and scientists from governmental and private organizations, consulting firms, universities, laboratories and construction companies.
Further info on web site :

13.09.01: ICOLD Meeting: Large Dams and the WCD - an NGO Perspective

Presentation by Peter Bosshard (*)
ICOLD Symposium, 13 September 2001, Dresden
ICOLD and NGOs have talked about each other for a long time. They have occasionally yelled at each other. They have hardly ever talked with each other. So I very much appreciate the symposium which takes place today, and the invitation which was extended to the NGOs.
The symposium organizers are interested to learn more about the "counter-arguments" to the construction of large dams. I am happy to briefly summarize some concerns of the international NGO community relating to large dams. I will also comment on the WCD process from an NGO perspective, and will conclude by offering some thoughts on the reactions to the report which we have seen so far.Social, environmental and economic concerns
It is a basic principle of social justice that development projects should not come at the expense of the poor, that "the people directly affected by a project should always be the first to benefit", as ICOLD's 1997 Position Paper on Dams and the Environment stipulates. Personally, I have not seen one project in which affected people were indeed better off after construction among all the large dams which I had the chance to visit. All of us have however witnessed so many cases in which the affected people lost their livelihoods, their cultural identity, their human dignity and their hope due to large dams. The WCD report confirms that affected communities have again and again gone through traumatic experiences of involuntary eviction, and have often ended in misery and marginalization. The document estimates, conservatively, that large dams have displaced 40-80 million people. They have also impoverished millions of other people, e.g. those living in downstream areas, who are often not even officially recognized as being project-affected.
Large dams have impounded an area of more than 400,000 square kilometers or roughly ten times the size of my home country Switzerland. They have thus disrupted most major river systems on the planet, and have submerged some of the world's most diverse habitats and fertile farmlands. Their impacts on the complex riverine ecosystems are not fully understood yet, and can for the most part not be mitigated. As Alessandro Palmieri from the World Bank documents in a presentation to this symposium, 300-600 new large dams would need to be built every year only to offset the sedimentation of existing reservoirs. This fact alone demonstrates that large dams are not a sustainable answer to the world's energy and water problems.
Many ICOLD members argue that consumers of electricity and water are an affected party of the large dams debate as well, and that NGOs hinder economic development by trying to stop large dams. Indeed, consumers are an affected party too, even if certainly to a lesser degree than people who must sacrifice their livelihood for a large dam. Yet is it really in the interest of consumers to invest scarce resources in large dams, among all the water and energy options which are available? The economic development impact of large dams is doubtful at best. The WCD found that dam economics have never been evaluated in a comprehensive, ex-post manner. And of all the large dams the Berne Declaration has opposed, none was a least-cost option for providing energy or water. Consumers in Brazil, China or Turkey, e.g., would be better off if scarce resources were (or had been) invested in efficiency gains or in the co-generation of power in heavy industries rather than in the Itaipu, Three Gorges or Ilisu dams. Other projects - including Bakun, Maheshwar, Manantali or Yacyreta - were and are outright economic disasters.
The WCD report confirms that dams are often not planned and built for economic reasons, but rather based on narrow, vested financial and political interests. Poor societies which have pressing water and energy needs cannot afford to squander public resources for vested interests. Instead, a comprehensive and unbiased assessment of all the needs and options as proposed by the WCD is an imperative of rational planning especially in poor societies.
ICOLD President C.V.J. Varma argues that large dams should be built not necessarily because they are a least-cost option, but because they can more easily be implemented than efficiency increases or complex demand-side management programs. I believe this argument confirms that many dams are built not because they make economic sense, but because they respond well to (and in fact, express) the unequal power relations within a society. In India the pressing electricity gap could be narrowed e.g. by increasing the efficiency of existing plants, by abolishing the power subsidies to large land owners in order to encourage an efficient use of irrigation pumps, or by building the hugely controversial Tehri dam. For many decades, it has indeed been easier to displace 100,000s of poor people for a large dam than to touch on the interests of the powerful large landowners. The growing resistance of NGOs and social movements is now changing this unequal power relation. We may hope that this trend will encourage a more democratic, balanced and comprehensive water and energy planning process as it is promoted by the WCD report.

The WCD process
The creation of the World Commission on Dams was an expression of the unresolved social, environmental and economic problems of large dams, and of the strong resistance of social movements and NGO networks against the construction of such dams. NGOs and movements such as the International Rivers Network, the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Berne Declaration participated in the WCD process from the very beginning. They hoped that the establishment of empirical evidence on large dams in an independent and comprehensive process would make it more difficult to defend such projects on the grounds of self-interest or ideology. I personally participated in the WCD Forum and prepared several submissions for the Commission, and the Berne Declaration supported the WCD financially.
While most NGOs generally supported the creation and the work of the Commission, they still had some serious misgivings about the WCD process. Even if the Commission made an effort to be more participatory than any other such body, affected communities found it very difficult to bring in their experiences. The lack of time and of translations made participation difficult for anybody who was not familiar with the professional jargon of experts. Conversely, consultants who had made a carreer working for the dam industry had all the more influence on the process. They wrote most of the WCD's input papers, thereby judged the performance of their own profession, or were even paid to evaluate their own projects. It is therefore not surprising that the WCD report is not always as candid as it should be. Finally, NGOs regretted that the Commission did not examine more ongoing projects. It was prevented from looking at controversial ongoing projects by the governments of China, India and Turkey - ironically the very governments which are now the shrillest critiques of the WCD report.
In spite of such shortcomings, most NGOs have welcomed the WCD report when it was published in November 2000. Even if it is a compromise document, the report is the first independent and comprehensive review of the impacts of large dams. The WCD's knowledge base is the richest collection of comprehensive data on dams, and is based on the most representative sample of case studies which exists. The report has an added legitimacy because it was signed by all Commissioners, in spite of their extremely different backgrounds.
It is encouraging to see the widespread support which the report has already found. It was welcomed and is being used by international organizations (including UNEP and WHO), governments (including Germany and South Africa), multilateral development banks (such as ADB and AfDB), companies (such as Skanska), and also some national committees and prominent representatives of ICOLD. We already see how this support is turning the WCD guidelines into soft international law. This will not exclude the interpretation of guidelines within different national contexts.
In contrast, the reaction of the World Bank to the report has been a cause of great concern. The Bank applauded the WCD process as a model case of multi-stakeholder dialogues as long as it could get free public credit for it. Once the report was published, it chose to side with the dam-building agencies of its borrowing countries, thus supporting one single stakeholder in the conflict over large dams. The Bank has made vague and non-committing declarations in public, but has used every opportunity to discredit the report and block its implementation behind the scenes. By doing so, it has annoyed many NGOs, governments and international organizations, and has lost all credibility as a convenor of future multi-stakeholder processes. Alessandro Palmieri's assertion that "the World Bank role as honest broker (...) is and will be more and more in demand" can only be interpreted as wishful thinking.
Many representatives and members of ICOLD, including several national committees, have also rejected the recommendations of the WCD report. They have done so in public statements, and are certainly doing so in their daily business practices. Right now, we can witness a scramble of reputed international companies for contracts related to the Bakun hydroelectric power project in Malaysia. There is no demand for this project except for the greed of corrupt politicians and their business cronies. By bidding for such contracts, companies will not do a service to their public reputation. They indicate that they are not prepared to learn from past mistakes or from the WCD report, and that they rather try to profit from "business as usual" as long as they still can.
The way forward
Many companies and national agencies are still grappling with their response to the WCD report. I wish to call on these actors to formally adopt the WCD guidelines, to follow them in their business practices, and to support and participate in the follow-up processes on the national and international levels. At this symposium, many ICOLD members have expressed a strong confidence in the great benefits of large dams. TRCOLD President Mümtaz Turfan e.g. claims that in Turkey, dams are producing an agricultural and energy value of $ 64 billion each year, or almost 40 % of the national GNP. With such confidence, it is unclear to me why TRCOLD, or the dam industry more generally, is not prepared to accept a comprehensive and balanced assessment of needs and options, a process of gaining public acceptance by making affected communities beneficiaries of their projects, or a responsibility to help overcome the unresolved problems of existing dams, as stipulated by the WCD report.
Personally, I am convinced that less and less large dams will be built in the future. As President Varma has said, "change is inevitable", or in the words of the symposium organizers, "the glamorous days of unlimited barrage construction are definitely gone". Destructive projects with hugely negative impacts on the poor and on the environment are simply not acceptable anymore in today's world society. In his presentation, Professor Asmal reminded us of the many bitter conflicts over large dams which are still going on. If industry adopts the WCD guidelines, if it engages in the follow-up process and in a dialogue with dam critics, it will at least enjoy more predictability in its operations, it will learn to early on screen out projects which would certainly end up in political conflicts and legal disputes.
Thank you for having started this process of dialogue within the ICOLD frameword, and for having invited me to address today's symposium.

(*) Peter Bosshard was with the Berne Declaration, a Swiss advocacy group, from 1987 until March 2001. He presently advises NGOs such as the International Rivers Network, Friends of the Earth/France, and the Italian Reform the World Bank Campaign.


12.09.01: Hungary designates two new RAMSAR sites on the Slovak border

The Bureau is very pleased to announce that the Government of Hungary has designated two new Ramsar sites as of 14 August 2001, both contiguous with the borders of the Slovak Republic and ecologically associated with recently-designated Ramsar sites in that country. The "Baradla Cave System and related wetlands" (2,075 ha; 48°28'N 020°30'E), a National Park, MAB Biosphere Reserve, and World Heritage site, is the Hungarian part of the astonishing 25 km long Baradla-Domica Cave System and harbors a number of endemic little things, including the shrimp Niphargus aggtelekas (left). "Ipoly Valley" is a long, flat, and narrow valley containing oxbow lakes as well as shrub and alder bogs, associated with Slovakia's Poiplie Ramsar site.
Source: European Water Management News

12.09.01: Trilateral Ramsar platform Morava-Dyje floodplains

On 30 August 2001, the Ramsar authorities of Austria, the Czech and Slovak Republics met at Zidlochovice Castle in the Czech part of the Dyje floodplain to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Europe's third trilateral Ramsar Site (in addition to the Waddensea with a common secretariat run jointly by the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark; and the Prespa Park declared by Albania, Greece and the FYR of Macedonia). Vice-Minister Josef Bele, of the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic, welcomed Dr Jan Kadlecik, member of the Ramsar Standing Committee and Director at the Slovak Ministry of Environment, Dr Guenter Liebel, of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, their respective expert delegations, NGO representatives, and Ramsar's Regional Coordinator for Europe, Dr Tobias Salathé.
In the Memorandum, the three countries agreed to hold annual meetings to coordinate their efforts to achieve trilateral status for the existing Ramsar Sites along the border area of the Morava (March) and Dyje (Thaya) floodplains and to develop its management according to the "Guidelines for management planning for Ramsar Sites and other wetlands". They consider that a trilateral platform, composed of up to 15 experts, representing these ministries, water management institutions, the national Ramsar committees and non-governmental organizations, would form the most convenient way to further trilateral cooperation. To this end, the three partners will make available and exchange all relevant information and enhance their communication efforts.
The Morava-Dyie floodplains harbour aquatic ecosystems that are typical for European slow-flowing rivers with important fluctuations of water level discharges, including game-abounding alluvial forests and wet meadows. The existing, adjacent Ramsar Sites include the Danube-Morava floodplains on the Austrian side, the floodplain of the lower Dyje on the Czech side, and the Morava floodplains on the Slovak site, covering together 55,000 ha. The floodplain benefits from European Union-funded projects for conservation management, education and increase of public awareness. The ministerial delegations underlined the important role played by non-governmental organisations, notably Daphne (Slovakia), Distelverein (Austria) and Veronica (Czechia), as well as the Danube-Carpathian Programme of WWF International, promoting the concept and working together to conserve a "nature without borders"
Source: European Water Management News

12.09.01: Long-awaited report. RAMSAR mission report on Ebro delta now available

The long-awaited Ramsar Mission Report no. 43 on the Delta del Ebro, Cataluña, España, is now available. Led by the Ramsar Bureau's Dr Tobias Salathé and invited experts Dr Patrick Dugan, consultant, and Dra María José Viñals of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia/SEHUMED, with the participation of a number of Spanish experts, the mission visited the site in September 2000 and the draft report and recommendations have been under discussion for some time. At is the final report in Spanish, and at is the English summary.
Source: European Water Management News

12.09.01: No one's bathing in it yet, but the Seine River flowing through Paris is less polluted and is attracting dozens of fish species, officials say.

During the 1960s, the Seine was home to only about 10 types of fish because the river was badly polluted. Today, the river counts 46 species, Gilbert Simon, director of the High Council on Fishing, said at a Friday news conference.
The fish have returned to the Seine's waters because of programs to clear up the pollution, he said.
Ammonium levels have dropped significantly during the past 10 years, in part because of water purifying stations, the water agency of the Seine-Normandy region said. However, the river still faces the problem of high levels of nitrates and phosphates, he said.

12.09.01: International River Drava Day September 28, 2001

Event: International Drava Day, Koprivnica, Croatia
Organiser : The Drava League
Partner: Municipality of town Koprivnica Date: September 28, 2001
Aim of the Drava Day: Promotion of the value and the sustainable development of the Podravina and common platform for the region to vote for the preservation of water.
Programme: a. Conference ( Town Hall, 10 a.m.): Main issues of the conference are: potential for sustainable development of the Drava region based on preservation and protection of environment and transboundary cooperation as well as the current status of protection of the Drava ecosystem. These issues will be approached by presentations of experts in environmental protection, tourism, healthy food production and discussed by representatives of local communities and counties along the Drava river in Croatia and Hungary, NGOs, Ministries of tourism and environment and Water, Forestry and Electricity Authorities.
b. Supporting events: ( Zrinski Square, Town Museum, Podravska Bank) Conference topics will also be explored by children of Koprivnica schools and kindergartens who will present thier view of the Drava river by drawing the Drava in the Zrinski square ( 9 a. m. 2 p. m.). An exhibition of photographs of the Drava landscape will be opened in Podravska Bank ( Opaticka Street 7) and en exhibition of paintings in Town Museum( Leandera Brozovica Square). Eco-clubs in the local schools will work on their respective projects throughout the week.
c. Podravina bicycle route testing: Cyclists from Koprivnica and other towns throughout the region are invited to test the planned Drava cycling route which will be connected to the international cycling route net connecting the Alps to the Danube. The testing ride will involve Koprivnica-Molve-Hlebine section. Villages of Molve and Hlebine will present their cultural, culinary and tourist attractions.
The organizers of the event hope and expect it to be a decisive step in the positive orientation of the region towards a development strategy which unites the overall protection of the natural heritage and traditional cultural values to the sustainable development of the region's potential based on the democratic right of the local community to determine its own future.

Source: European Water Management News

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