The year 2022 was challenging and not easy. With the CEE region still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, a war broke out in Europe, hurting our Ukrainian colleagues and friends. A drought hit the continent, probably the most serious one in 500 years in some countries. GWP CEE continued its work on integrated water resources management involving stakeholders and partners in transboundary cooperation, climate, SDGs, youth issues among others.
The GWP CEE Summer School, our youth flagship event, was restarted. For one week in June 2022, young and aspiring water specialists from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) practiced problem-based learning on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) at the Tisza Lake in Hungary.
Climate and transboundary cooperation are important for GWPCEE - our Integrated Drought Management Programmesupported work on the ground inthe Drin Basin and Armenia.
Thenewly launched Community of Practice on Nature Based Solutions (NBS) in Water Management attracted practitioners from around the world. It received a huge support from a seminar, organized by GWP CEE and University of Ljubljana.
The year ended big, with Danube Art Master 2022 environmental arts competition organized together with the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) receiving a significant number of artworks from young students.
Capacity building and international cooperation
In 2022, a two-year INTERREG TEACHER-CE project was finalized, supporting water management adaptation to climate change in Central Europe. A new report by Sustainable Sanitation Taskforce shed light on the current situation of wastewater collection and treatment in the region. The Taskforce also provided feedback to the EU Nutrients Action Plan.
Continuing with our efforts to provide knowledge and build new capacities, GWP CEE reopened the very successful Danube Floodplain Online Course. Another useful material came from the TEACHER-CE project, which developed tools for climate change adaptation and boosted integrated participatory water management. We then addressed the new Danube River Basin plans prepared under the auspices of, ICPDR, focusing on climate resilience and NBS.
Eager to share their experience, GWP Romania focused on technological advancement and important steps to evaluate the danger of microplastics in Danube. GWP Slovenia organized the Water-Related Disaster Risk Management in Changing Climate online panel.
For future generations
In February 2022, we had the young professionals from Erasmus+ Youth for Water and Climate Programmefirst cohort from Hungary, Slovakia, Belgium, France and Sweden.The first live event they experienced took place in Budapest, Hungary. The program was a big boost to participants’ skills as they started attending various global events already as speakers, co-organizers or panelists.
On regional level, we established the GWP CEE Youth Fundraising Panel. GWP CEE intern, Bence Bíró, is an excellent example as he voiced his opinion and represented the region at the Climate Change Conference of Youth 2022. His journey is quite inspiring, and we interviewed him just recently to share his story with you.
Among other notable events, we are sure to mention the celebration of the World Water Day by joining with the Circular Economy Taskforce to prepare a report from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia.
GWP CEE took part in the 25th International River Symposium in Vienna, Austria, bringing together science, business, communities, NGOs and government to advance efforts towards resilient rivers.
With 2023 getting close, we wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.