Despite still present COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing war in Ukraine, GWP Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Regional Secretariat and chairs of the Country Water Partnerships (CWP) convened for the Regional Council meeting live in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Darío Soto Abril, GWP Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, expressed his positive feelings about the progress of the CEE region.
”The sustainability and strengthening of the regions is an especially important topic that touches GWP CEE too. There should be more interdependencies between regions.”
The meeting then continued with a session on the progress made by the regional secretariat, focusing on communication and youth including Danube Art Master 2021 results, the Erasmus + Youth for Water and Climate project, as well as upcoming Summer School 2022. Special attention was given to the redesigned GWP ToolBox as an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Hub. The milestones of implemented projects Danube Floodplain, TEACHER-CE and OPTAIN were discussed afterwards.
The CWPs then presented the results of their national activities in the past six months. Some of the most notable ones were from Moldova and Romania. In Moldova, GWP is currently conducting a nutrient reduction plan for the National park Orhei and biosphere reserve (Lower Prut). Project was approved by the National Commission of the Republic of Moldova for UNESCO and will start at the end of April. In Romania, over 50.000 EUR was raised to support multiple projects, including permaculture project via Youth Taskforce and Reporting on Danube, a project that will analyze samples from the Danube to understand how much microplastic gets transported by the river.
Afterwards, the three GWP CEE Taskforces presented their progress. Two new position papers emerged, one from the Sustainable Sanitation Taskforce, and the other from the Circular Economy Taskforce, both reviewing the situation in their field and the next steps, as well as a project proposal on sanitation and climate. The Youth Taskforce reported on successful transformation of one of their project ideas into a proposal.
One of the most important decisions made was the creation of the Young Experts Fundraising Panel. It will comprise of young specialist representatives from each country of the CEE region to prepare project proposals and submit to relevant donors. The panel will start working by the end of April 2022. The Regional Secretariat will then take over the supervision and support activities.
The Regional Council members also brainstormed the next 3-year strategy from 2023. Among the main discussion points were deeper cooperation between CWP, GWP CEE Secretariat, and GWPO, available country-level donors and opportunities, and GWP CEE priorities for fundraising activities on specific topics.
During the closing ceremony, the participants agreed that, if possible, the next Regional Council Meeting will yet again be live in the autumn of 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.