The National Briefing Seminar of the DriDanube: Drought Risk in Danube Region project was organized for the decision makers and the stakeholders of the Hungarian Drought Risk Management process on 12th June 2017 in Budapest. The Seminar program was prepared by the Hungarian project partners namely Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ) and the Szent István University. The event was hosted by OMSZ. Other ongoing projects with Hungarian participation (JoinTisza, Camaro-D), funded by the Danube Transnational Program, were presented with regards to mutual cooperation, capitalization on building the synergies among them and sharing the knowledge.
Main objective of the event was to present the tasks, the work packages and the expected results of the DriDanube project to the potential end users in Hungary. The seminar was attended by 40 representatives from various sectors: agriculture, forestry, water management, private sector, who can use the expected outputs and results of the project. Some participants came from the ministries and authorities responsible for mater management, others from universities, research institutions and non-profit organizations.
In her opening speech Kornélia Radics, the President of the Hungarian Meteorological Service, emphasized that OMSZ plays key role in the drought management process in Hungary. “Our Institute is participating in monitoring of long dry periods, which can lead to crop yield losses. Nowadays the most important challenge is to carry out a new state-of-the-art drought monitoring and early warning system for Hungary. We are working hard and continuously on improving our climate monitoring and agrometeorological services .“
Sándor Szalai, the head of the Water Management Department at Szent István University, gave a short introduction about aims of the Danube Transnational Program and presented its relation to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. He talked about some successfully implemented research projects (DMCSEE, CarpatClim, DanubeClim) which established the cross-border cooperations between countries in the Danube Region.
Diana Heilman, the representative of Water Quality Priority Area (PA4) in EUSDR and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, gave a summary about the JoinTisza project. The project focuses on development of river basin management plan of the Tisza River. One of the pilot actions deals with drought management and impacts of climate change on the Tisza catchment area. The main output of the project will be an updated final draft of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan, which already includes the primary aspects of the Floods Directive.
Mihály Végh, the representative of the the Herman Otto Institute Ltd, presented Camaro-D project. The main aims of the project are to implement an innovative transnational catchment-based “Land Use Development Plan” for the Danube River Basin and to prepare comprehensive recommendations towards a strategy policy. The project results support the demand of the protection of water resources against negative impacts of land use and climate change.
Zita Bihari (DriDanube) focused on explaining the work packages of DriDanube project. In WP4 a collection of drought impact data available in the member countries from past decades will be provided and a regional observer network will be build up to support near real time drought impact assessments and early warning systems. As a work package 5 leader, which is dealing with harmonizing and improving droughts risk assessment methods, she presented the most important milestones towards the implementation of regional drought risk maps.
Finally Mónika Lakatos (DriDanube) collected in her presentation the main expected outputs of work package 3 which will be providing a new operative drought user interface based on Earth Observation data. She shared information about planned pilot actions and about regional dissemination and capacity building activities in DriDanube project. She emphasized that a successful drought management process requires good cooperation between authorities and stakeholders in the Danube region.
The presentations and photos are available here.
The attendees involved in the afterward discussions agreed on the importance of better cooperation among the authorities in Hungary. Nowadays, a common government approach in area mitigation/adaptation to impacts of climate change, water management and agricultural development is missing. The attended companies emphasized the need for the real practical outputs and results from DriDanube project which can be used in their daily activities.