Slovak and Czech stakeholders evaluate ecosystem services in Morava river basin

On 31 January 2019, the German, Czech and Slovak partners of Danube Floodplain project organized a one-day stakeholder consultation meeting held back-to-back with a workshop on ecosystem services. The event took place at the Research Institute of Water Management in Bratislava and brought together key stakeholders from Slovakia and Czech Republic, giving the project partners the opportunity to present and discuss Danube Floodplain project with stakeholders from various areas.

The event was attended by municipality mayors, experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests of the Czech Republic, Nature and Landscape Protection Agency, CHKO Záhorie, Moravian Fisheries Union, the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak republic, State nature conservancy of the Slovak republic, Slovak Academy of Science, and others. Young representatives of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra were also present and actively participated while bringing in the youth perspective.

Morava River Basin Authority (Povodí Moravy s.p.) together with three Slovak project partners - the Slovak Water Management Company, the Water Research Institute and the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe, ensured the organization of the meeting and the initial stakeholder consultation phase.

In the first part of the event the participants were informed about the project and itsDanube-Floodplain-stakeholders expected outcomes, the area of ​​ Morava River, the delimitation of the floodplains on the Slovak part of the Danube river, etc. A detailed presentation on the pilot area at ​​the confluence of the rivers Morava and Thaya was given to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the features and current situation in the pilot site.

The second, interactive part of the event focused on the evaluation of ecosystem services. Divided into three groups, the participants had to work together on the characteristics of ecosystem services at the site under the supervision of the partners from the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. After 3 scenarios of floodplain revitalization were presented to then, the stakeholders were asked to identify which would bring most benefits. In groups and during the final joint discussion, they shared experiences and discussed the provisioning, regulatory, cultural and supporting services that floodplains bring. All findings were recorded on a map and worksheets, which will be further processed during the project.

The aim of this initial consultation meeting was primarily to familiarize the Czech and Slovak stakeholders with the Danube Floodplain project, to raise awareness of the floodplain potential and consult with them possible scenarios for the Morava river pilot site. Stakeholder engagement in Danube Floodplain is crucial for the whole project, as it aims to achieve a shared understanding of the project results and implementation at both national and basin level, as well as an improved implementation process, improved feedback and data collection.